Christians in Bangladesh have come together for an ecumenical prayer service to pray for peace in a country beset by extremist violence.
According to ChristianToday.com, Catholic and Protestant Christians united for the prayer services which were held in the Archdiocese of Dhaka and in the Diocese of Khulna simultaneously.
“Let us pray that this will become a country of unity, peace and harmony," said Mgr Patrick D'Roazario, Archbishop of Dhaka, during the prayer service. "Let us pray that dormant humanity become aware of the violence, murders committed in secret, and the persecution. May Almighty God bless [the terrorists] so that they change their minds."
Persecution, particularly directed at Christians and secularists, as well as Hindus, who make up only 10 percent of Bangladesh’s population, has been increasing. As many as 40 people have been killed over the last three years by Islamic extremists.
Although ISIS and Al-Qaeda have taken responsibility for the killings, government authorities maintain that the violence is due to local Muslim extremists.
During the prayer services, Christians leaders urged the government to do something about the violence:
"We live in fear because every day ordinary folks become victims of Islamic militants. For this reason, we urged Christian leaders to call on humanity to wake up," Fr Kamal Corraya told Asia News. "All mankind cries because no one is safe in this country."
"I feel comforted by this prayer," said another participant in the prayer services. "I hope the terrorists stop persecuting us, and that we may live in peace."
Publication date: June 23, 2016