DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 25, 2013–A fundraiser held by the Mathbari parish priest, Dazipu district, for the construction of a new Catholic church, was also attended by citizens Hindus and Muslims. “Some non-Christian brothers and sisters have given 7,693 dollars to build a new church – said Fr. Boniface Subrata Tolentino – I’m very happy, we have a great relationship with them.
The cost of the church is about 380 thousand dollars, the parishioners of Mathbari have been trying for some time to finance the construction, but the amount raised so far is insufficient. “I donated part of my money because we have good relations with Christians, they are our neighbors – says a citizen of the Hindu faith – we live together, we share joys and sorrows.”
According to the Catholics of the city, Fr. Boniface Subrata Tolentino should be credited with creating the atmosphere of serenity and harmony that reigns between the different confessional realities. “He is respectful towards other religious groups, he invites their members to our parties and we feel ourselves enriched by these experiences,” says Nandon Cruze, a parishioner of the local church.
In Bangladesh, the majority of the population is Muslim, while the Christian community, mostly Catholic, represents only 0.4%. Despite there being incidents of violence against minorities by Muslim fundamentalists, the area of ??Mathbari seems to represent a singular exception.
There are 3500 Catholics in the town, the only church present was built in 1925 and bears the name of St. Augustine. Its small size, however, cannot accommodate all the faithful and the fundraising, towards which Hindus and Muslims also contributed, was organized to finance the construction of a second parish center. (AsiaNews)