Bangladeshi Christian families survive arson attacks

November 13, 2015 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

bangladeshBangladesh, November 13, 2015: A mob of around half a dozen Muslims attempted to lock four Christian families in their homes in the village of Kamarpara, in northern Bangladesh, on 5 November, before setting the houses alight, but neighbours helped the families escape in time to save their lives.

“It was midnight when we heard the noise of the fire and the smell of smoke,” said survivor Ramni Das. “They wanted to kill us by burning us alive, but we managed to escape.”

Like many of Bangladesh’s Christians, the families live in deep poverty. “We lost everything,” said Ramni Das. “There is nothing left in our house, everything was burned.” Despite the fact that he has filed a complaint with police, no arrests have yet been made.

Muslims accused the Christians of witchcraft, but according to Ramni Das, the real motive behind the attacks was to take possession of the Christians’ land. In a similar incident in October, a mob of around 100 Muslims forced a Christian family from their home in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, while the police stood by and watched.

Last week’s attacks against the families are the latest to occur in a year of targeted persecution. “For more than a year, Muslim youths from a neighbouring village accused us of practising witchcraft and told us to leave the village,” said Ramni Das. “They abused us in public and threw bricks at our houses.”

Bangladeshi Christians make up just 1% of a population that is 90% Muslim, making them easy targets for persecution. In addition to violence, they face social and economic difficulties due to marginalisation and poverty.

– barnabas team

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