The Church seeks justice for the murder of a Catholic in Bangladesh

Catholics in a diocese in Bangladesh are protesting the murder of an elderly Catholic and the looting of his home, saying criminals in the Muslim-majority region are targeting them because of their peaceful nature.

Some 1,000 people took to the streets for a third day on February 3 to demand the immediate arrest of the criminals who attacked the Catholic’s house in the village of Padrishibpur which falls under the Diocese of Barishal.

“We are attacked because we are a minority. We do not seek to act or protest when we are attacked,” said Fr. Anol Terence D’Costa, head of the Barisal Diocese Social Media Commission.

Unidentified people raided the home of 94-year-old Melcome D. Costa on January 29 after knocking six family members unconscious with drugs and looting all of their valuables. Costa died in hospital on January 31, while the other five family members have not yet recovered.

Catholic leaders of the protest said a young man visited Costa’s house and mixed anesthetics with the food. After eating the food, everyone fell unconscious that night while Costa remained conscious.

At least three young men entered the house through an open window and Costa was attacked as he tried to stop them. Later, when he also passed out, the youths took everything from the house, including money and gold ornaments worth an estimated 750,000 taka ($8,714) and fled. , said neighbor Pius D’Costa.

The Christians are facing various problems in the village, which was not the case before. I think we’re under attack because we’re a minority

Father D’Costa said such attacks “are nothing new” in the Muslim-dominated region, where Christians began settling in the 18th century. The inability of Christians to organize and protest against such attacks exposes them to increased attacks, he said.

He said the protest by parishioners will continue until the police arrest the criminals.

Holy Cross Archbishop Lawrence Subrato Howlader of Chattogram, Apostolic Administrator of Barishal Diocese, visited the parish and joined protesters calling for the immediate arrest of the criminals.

“We are also talking with the local administration and politicians, demanding financial support for the family and exemplary punishment for criminals,” Holy Cross Father D’Costa told UCA News.

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A similar incident took place in a house in the same neighborhood and a young woman was raped last year. Do you want conversation? Yes. How is it going? I say it’s excellent, it’s hot.

The villagers believed that the incident was planned and that the criminals were targeting them because they belonged to a religious minority.

“Our village is a very old Christian colony. Various problems have been created here lately,” said Lina Gomes, a Catholic resident.

Lina Gomes, a Catholic from the village who joined the protest, said: “Christians are facing various problems in the village which was not the case before. I think we are attacked because we are a minority.

As the victims have not fully regained consciousness, no case has been registered but the police are trying to find the culprits, said Alauddin Milon, the officer in charge of the Bakergonj police station.

“As soon as we heard about the incident, we went to the scene and collected clues. I hope we can catch the culprits as soon as possible.

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