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article imageBangladesh: Pastor's Wife Raped Amid Anti-Christian Violence

By Tabatha Kaplan     Jan 30, 2009 in World
A pastor's wife is recovering after being raped by a Muslim gang, amid rising violence towards Christians living in Bangladesh.
DHAKA, BANGLADESH
A pastor's wife is recovering after being raped by a Muslim gang, as the country's Christian minority comes under increasing attack.
Reverend Shankar Hazra told reporters that his wife, Depali, was raped on January 6th by a group of six Muslim men who also burgled their home, which is on the Church property.
He said the nightmare began when he and his wife went out to a toilet, located outside their home. "Suddenly a man loomed up from the darkness and thrust the snout of a homemade rifle at my chest and told me to keep mum, otherwise both of us would be killed," Christian news agency Compass Direct News quoted Hazra as saying.
Hazra daid that the men then "blindfolded my wife and took her inside the house." After the attackers finally left, the pastor managed to untie himself and found his wife inside their home.
The pastor has accused police and local Muslim-controlled media of trying to hide the 'likely anti-Christian' motives for the crime, and instead wrongly accusing Christian and Hindu men of the assault.
In recent weeks there has been a series of attacks on Christians. In Kathuly village in western Bangladesh, for instance, the Muslim community allegedly forced two brothers to throw their parents out of their home after they converted to Christianity.
Ishmael Sheikh, 70, and his wife Rahima Khatun, 55, were baptized on November 9 and are now said to be in hiding.
Earlier in 2008 in the country's Rangamati district, Bengali Muslim settlers murdered a Christian for defending indigenous peoples from illegal land-grabs in a widely published incident.
On August 19 Ladu Moni Chakma, 55, was stabbed repeatedly and his throat was cut at Sajek in Baghaichuri sub-district in Rangamati district after he reported to the Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission how a military commander helped settle Bengali Muslims on area lands, news reports said.
A pastor of the Bangladesh Baptist Church in the district was quoted as saying that Chakma was killed because he was a Christian who was an outspoken defender of minorities in the area.
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