A team of solidarity has recently visited Bangladesh to observe the status of religious minorities in the country. While speaking with the representatives of various organizations on the issue, the pastoral solidarity came to know that religious minorities in Bangladesh have been facing religiously-motivated violence since 2014 national election, where supporters of several pro-Islamist parties carried out attacks on minority-dominated villages.
They said that some political parties in the country utilize religious sentiments of common people that intensify communal tension in Bangladesh. During their four-day visit to Bangladesh, the Pastoral Solidarity team sent by Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) interacted with a number of civil society organizations and representatives of minority groups.
While talking on the issue, the representatives of the civil society organization said that the country has witnessed the killing of at least eight secular bloggers and right activists in the last two years alone. The individual was targeted for sharing their views on freedom of thought, communal tolerance and political accountability.
Bangladesh is the home of 169 million people, out of which 90% are Muslims, while rest belongs to the Hindu, Christian and Buddhists communities. While interacting with the team of solidarity, the representatives said that people who belong to the minority communities are living in fear. They said that extremist violence has become a major problem in the country.
Representatives of several communities have expressed their concerns over the growing religious violence in the country and informed the CCA solidarity team on how the people from minority community are spending days amidst terror and fear. During their four-day visit, the solidarity team held meetings with the Catholic Bishop Conference of Bangladesh (CBCB), the National Council of Churches in Bangladesh (NCCB), United Forum of Churches in Bangladesh (UFCB), the Bangladesh Baptist Church Sangha (BBCS) and the Church of Bangladesh (COB).