BANGLADESH – Rohingya Christians dealing with aftermath of attack

Mission Network News | Kevin Zeller | February 4, 2020

Rohingya Christians have been moved to safety following an attack in a Bangladesh refugee camp.

Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC) explains, “Recently there was an attack and a pastor and his daughter were kidnapped, they were abducted. And then we had received word from kidnappers to our partners, that there is a plan now to forcibly take the pastor’s daughter and marry her to a Muslim man. . . This was going to happen soon.”

 The attack

The attack, which occurred in the Kutapalong, the world’s largest refugee camp, left 12 Christians wounded. The Christians were refugees from Myanmar who came to Bangladesh in 2007. They claim they were also attacked in May of last year by the same group: Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). According to its Twitter account, ARSA is, “Fighting for the liberation of persecuted Rohingya.”

Local police acknowledge the violence, but maintain that Christians in the camp initiated it by beating and dragging out a man, and that Muslims retaliated. They also deny that ARSA was involved and claim only four Christians were injured.

The attack reportedly left many Christians without homes, as the attackers went into houses and used machetes to destroy them. Police confirmed damage to homes. Following the attack, the Christian families, along with many Hindu families, were isolated from the Muslims by the United Nations.

The attacks also connect to a recent statement by UN Special Rapperteur Yanghee Lee, who voiced concern over the state of religious minorities in the camp.