In Bangladesh, a Christian pastor survived an attempted murder attack by terrorists who sought to kill him, while pretending to want to learn more about Christianity. Three men (aged 25-30) attacked 52 year old Christian pastor Luke Sarker with a knife at his home in the northwestern district of Pabna. While the terrorists sought to slit his throat, Pastor Sarker escaped with minor injuries after his wife discovered the attack and the terrorists fled.
The AP reports that: “Sarker, the pastor of Faith Bible Church, said by telephone that the men had phoned him about two weeks ago saying they wanted to visit him to learn about Christianity. After they arrived at his home on Monday, the men suddenly attacked him with a knife and tried to slit his throat, Sarker said. But as he shouted, his wife came to his rescue and the men fled. Police later recovered a motorbike from outside his home. Rahman said that police had no clues yet about the identities of the three men but suspect they could be members of a fundamentalist group.”
Minority Christians have been targets of violence and abuse in Bangladesh.
Nirmal Rozario, general secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA), a Christian activist group, told AsiaNews that “We are very concerned about the attack.” “We Christians are vulnerable in this country, as are other Muslim minorities. We can be attacked at any moment.” Mr. Rozario stated: “I call on the government in Dhaka to ensure security in all churches and for all Christians in Bangladesh. The police must arrest the three assailants and impose an exemplary punishment.”
Those concerned about attacks on religious minorities have previously protested to seek protection for their shared universal human rights.
The attack follows two recent murders of foreign workers.
On September 28, 2015, Cesare Tavella, 50, an Italian aid worker died, after he was shot three times by attackers, who fled on a motorcycle, in the Gulshan area of Dhaka.
On October 3, 2015, Kunio Hoshi, a Japanese agricultural worker, was shot to death in Mahiganj village in Rangpur district, 300 km (185 miles) north of Dhaka, Sunday. Masked assailants riding a motorbike shot Kunio Hoshi, and escaped. Two suspects are reportedly being held in connection with this murder.
While the ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the murder of Cesare Tavella and the murder of Kunio Hoshi, the Bangladesh government states this was the responsibility of a “Bangladesh internal opposition” group. The Japan Times reports that Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said: “Oh, it’s absolutely rubbish, there is no IS in the country, no way. Why would IS do this here? These are incidents for creating instability in the country.”
Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) promotes the shared Universal Human Rights for all people. R.E.A.L. supports our Universal Human Rights for all people, including the freedom of religion, equality, security, and dignity, as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Terrorist and extremist violence which seeks to deny our universal human rights, our human dignity, and religious freedom has no boundaries. It can strike anywhere against anyone of any faith. Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) urges people of all faiths, all races, all ethnic backgrounds, all nationalities, all genders, and all identity groups to stand together united for our shared Universal Human Rights and defy those terrorists of every kind who would deny us the inherent freedom that we share together.