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DHAKA (UCAN): “Now, the signs of the times demand that Christians need active political engagement to serve the community and the nation better,” Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario, the archbishop of Dhaka, said on July 17.
 

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An opening given to the Rohingya

KUALA LUMPUR (AsiaNews): The Malaysian government has become one of the first to introduce a skills training programme for the Rohingya people who have fled persecution in the Union of Myanmar and failed to find a welcome in Bangladesh or Thailand.

The programme is aimed at turning out semi-skilled workers that can be absorbed into the country’s labour market. It will also normalise their status in the country in order to give them the protection of labour legislation.

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Coadjutor named for troubled Guam

AGANA (CWN): Bishop Michael Byrnes, an auxiliary from Detroit, has been named as coadjutor of Agana in Guam; where Hong Kong-born Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai has been standing in for Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has been charged with multiple sex-abuse complaints.

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India shoots to kill at border

DHAKA (UCAN): Despite repeated promises by the government in India not to shoot people wandering into the country from across the border with Bangladesh, some 28 have been shot dead so far this year by the Indian Border Security Force, Ain-O-Salish Kendra, a Dhaka-based rights group, reported on September 28.

Over the last three years the casualties have numbered 26, 33 and 46.

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Aid reaching Bangladesh flood victims

Dhaka (UCAN): “Floodwater has started to recede as rain has stopped but the suffering of affected people is not over,” Pintu William Gomes, senior manager of the disaster management department at Caritas Bangladesh said.

The floods, the worst in 10 years, were triggered by monsoon rains and a surge of water from upstream India, and have submerged 20 districts and left two million people stranded since late July, according to the state-run Disaster Management Department.

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Good Muslims obstacle to Islamic State

Dhaka and Baghdad (Agencies): Christian leaders in Bangladesh condemned the July 7 terrorist attack on the country’s largest Eid al-Fitr prayer gathering in Kishoreganj, UCA News reported.

Four people were killed and 30 injured when a group of Islamic extremists threw bombs and shot at police outside the venue where around 300,000 people had gathered to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

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Bangladesh cringes under terrorist deaths

BONPARA (UCAN): About 500 people staged a protest along a major highway to demand justice for the killing of a Catholic owner of a grocery store in northwestern Bangladesh on June 5.

Seventy-two-year-old Sunil Gomes was hacked to death in his shop near Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Bonpara, Natore district, at around midday on June 5.

Gomes had worked as a gardener at the church for years and only opened his small business about three years ago.

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Dhaka rejects bid to become secular state

DHAKA (AsiaNews): The Bangladeshi High Court rejected a petition calling for the abolition of Islam as the state religion on March 29.

In its ruling, the court pointed to a procedural problem, saying that those who filed the petition do not have the constitutional right to do so.

The decision was greeted with joy by hundreds of Muslims who marched through the streets of Dhaka to celebrate.

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Christmas death threats for clergy in Bangladesh

DHAKA (AsiaNews): Bishop Bejoy D’Cruze and Bishop Paul Panen Kubi in Bangladesh both reported that they received death threats on their mobile phones in the run up to Christmas last year.

The bishops from Shylet and Mymenshing said that they believe that the death threats came from Islamist radicals. 

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