by Michael Ireland, Assist News Service
Two men involved in health awareness programs and who were showing the JESUS film, were killed July 29 in Faridpur, Bangladesh. Strong outrage has been voiced at their murders, and Bengali Christians are planning a rally in support of their families.
Lipial Marandi (21) and Tapan Kumar Roy (27) were employed with Christian Life Bangladesh, a partner agency of Campus Crusade for Christ, and had spent the last eight months providing health awareness programs to locals and showing the JESUS film.
The men had received threats that they would be killed if they continued their work, and local police say the men were sleeping when intruders entered their rented house at 2 a.m. and stabbed them to death. So far, police have arrested two men in connection with the killings.
We express our deepest sympathies to the families of Lipial and Tapan, said Thomas Abraham, vice president of Asia Campus Crusade for Christ. We are saddened by the hatred of those who would commit such acts of violence.
This is the second murder of Christian Life Bangladesh workers. In April, 2003, Hridoy Roy was killed in a similar incident. The perpetrators of Hridoys murder were never convicted.
We are seeing an increased trend towards persecution of Christians in Bangladesh, and the Christian community in America is concerned, said Abraham. We urge the Bengali government to bring the murderers to justice and uphold the Bangladesh constitution which protects religious freedom.
The Bengali Christian community and several newspapers have voiced strong outrage toward these murders. Bengali Christians plan to hold a rally to voice their sympathy toward the families of those murdered as well as a show of unity in these difficult circumstances. A memorandum from the Christian community will be sent to the Bangladesh Prime Minister urging immediate and just action be taken.
In a previous article, we told about Jesus film workers who were attacked by Hindus in Northern India.