Some Christian leaders in have met with Bangladesh’s Home Affairs minister to ask him for greater security during the Christmas period.
The minister assured them that police protection would be provided to 62
churches in the capital.
The meeting between the minister and 25 representatives from the
Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA) took place at the
minister’s office in Dhaka.
"We brought the minister greetings from the whole Christian
community, and we asked him to deploy police to protect churches on
Christmas night," BCA president Nirmol Rozario told AsiaNews.
Christian concerns stem from a climate of widespread intolerance in the country against foreigners, priests, Christian and Hindu minorities, bloggers branded as atheists, freethinkers, and gay rights activists.
Rozario said that he asked the Home minister "to ensure the constant
supply of electricity, so that prayers and the Christmas Mass are not
interrupted by power cuts".
For his part, Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that more security
measures would be taken across the country, both on Christmas Eve and
New Year's Eve.
"We are concerned about the protection of Christians,” he noted. “Our
police will monitor all events planned in churches for Christmas."
In the capital, the minister said that 62 churches would provided
with security. He added that CCTV cameras would be installed across the
Traffic around Christian places of worship would be diverted.
At the same time, the government asked Christians not to celebrate with
Bangladesh’s Christians are a small minority, about 0.6 per cent in a
population of more than 160 million people.
Roman Catholics are the
largest group with almost 600,000 faithful.