Christians in Bangladesh to Serve Rohingya Refugees

Published 19 September 2017  |  
AP
An ethnic Rohingya child from Myanmar is carried in a basket past rice fields after crossing from Myanmar into Bangladesh near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

Despite Christians being a small minority group in Bangladesh, they have come forward to provide humanitarian assistance and advocacy to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees escaping neighboring Myanmar.

Following the massive violent attacks against Rohingya Muslims, 400,000 Rohingya have fled northern Myanmar into Bangladesh in the past three weeks, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency reported.

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has termed the situation "ethnic cleansing."

The refugees are hungry, malnourished, and finding protection in makeshift settlements or with host communities.

Cardinal Patrick D'Rozario, the Archbishop of Dhaka, said that he will visit the refugee camps in person to assess the situation.

"It is very good that Bangladesh has opened the doors for the Rohingya, who have suffered all kinds of atrocities," he said, according to Crux.

The charitable relief work being provided in the country is surprisingly good because Christians make up only about 0.2 percent of its population.

"Bangladesh Caritas is involved in Relief work in the camps providing relief initially to fourteen thousand families," said D'Rozario.

Caritas International is the only international NGO approved by Bangladesh government.

In Myanmar, Muslims were illegally declared foreigners and were deprived of their nationality, said advocate Sheheryar Shams, chairman, Pakistan's Christian Citizen Forum.

Shams claimed all Christian communities strongly condemn the inhuman act and demand UN and other human rights organizations to intervene and put an end to all the human rights violations without delay. He also demanded Pakistani government to provide security to all Myanmar Muslim community.

Meanwhile, India has been criticized for its hateful stance towards Rohingya refugees. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Myanmar last week, the government reiterated plans to expel the 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the head of the UN refugee agency, said he "deplored" the assessment, "at a time of such violence against them in their country."

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