South Asia

Mob burn down church after false murder allegations against pastor’s son

The pastor’s family home was also the meeting place for a local congregation. Photo credit: Barnabas Fund

A Muslim mob burned down a house church in northern Bangladesh on 1 June, after the pastor’s son was falsely implicated in a local murder, according to Barnabas Fund.

Police arrested pastor Albert Badol’s 22-year-old son in Gouripur on 1 June, without a warrant, after it was alleged he was involved in a murder in the town.

When the arrest became public knowledge, a mob of local Muslims set fire to the pastor’s house and attempted to kill him. Although he managed to escape, his house was burned to the ground. The pastor’s wife and the daughter in law of another of his sons were threatened but not harmed by the mob.

The pastor’s house also functioned as a meeting place for a 35-strong local congregation that do not have a church building.

Christians make up one per cent of the population in Muslim-majority Bangladesh. The country’s constitution gives religious minorities the right to practise and share their faith, but Islam is the state religion.