Pastors in Bangladesh Arrested for Evangelizing Muslims

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

DHAKA (Worthy News)-- Two pastors in northwestern Bangladesh could face up to two years in prison if convicted for "hurting religious sentiments," according to Morning Star News.

In November, police arrested the pastors and detained their audience after a mob disrupted their meeting in a rented house northwest of Dhaka.

In addition to hurting religious sentiments, the pastors were charged with luring Muslims to convert to Christianity by offering them money, but both pastors denied the charges.

"We did not tell anything to anyone that might hurt religious sensibility," Pastor Arif Mondol told Morning Star News. "We did not offer any money to anyone to be converted to Christianity."

Nonetheless, the incident incensed local Muslims who formed a mob and surrounded the house where the pastors were preaching.

"Who gave you permission to spread Christianity here?" shouted the mob.

The pastors replied that they did not need permission from anyone to convert people to any religion.
The next day, local imams filed a case against the pastors. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

Nirmol Rozario, secretary general of Bangladesh Christian Association, told Morning Star News that the charges went against the spirit of the country's constitution.

"I demand that the case against the pastors should be dismissed, since the grounds of the case are contradictory to our constitution. This is the act of the communal and religious fanatics."

Sunni Muslims constitute 90 percent of Bangladesh's population; Hindus making up 9.5 percent and the remainder are mostly Roman Catholics.