Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Court orders protection of religious sites
Home Ministry and police force put on alertThe Supreme Court has ordered tighter security
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- October 4, 2012
The violence in southeastern Chittagong and Coxâ€™s Bazar districts on Saturday and Sunday, allegedly over a photo posted by a Buddhist on Facebook of a burning Quâ€™ran, left 19 temples, 100 homes and several shops burnt to the ground.
â€śThe constitution of the country ensures the security of every citizen and protects religious freedom. Recent violence against minorities shows how vulnerable they are, and they need protection,â€ť said Supreme Court lawyer Yunus Ali Akand, a Muslim who petitioned the court for the ruling.
He added that the government was continuously failing to protect the rights of minorities.Â Earlier this year there were two major hate attacks against Hindu communities, in southeastern Chittagong in February and northwestern Dinajpur in September. Dozens of Hindu temples and homes were burnt down by Muslim mobs.
Radical Islamists were blamed for orchestrating the violence, and some have been charged in court.
The court also ordered authorities to explain within a week why law enforcement failed to stop the violence more quickly.
Father Tapan De Rozario, a Catholic diocesan priest and professor of World Religion at Dhaka University welcomed the court directives, but said that sustaining religious harmony is the best protection against violence.
â€śWith the court order I hope the administration will be more sincere now, but the real protection is supposed to come from the heart,â€ť said Fr. Rozario.
Muslims make up about 90 percent of Bangladeshâ€™s 152 million people, and the majority practice a moderate form of Islam. However, in 2001 the country began to see a sharp rise in militant-driven violence, when religious minorities, especially Hindus, came under a series of attacks.
The center-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party which came to power in 2001, allied with radical Islamist parties, initially denied the presence of militants. But after a media outcry it banned two Islamic militant outfits, arrested and executed their top leaders.
Muslims destroy Buddhist sites
Police hold 240 for anti-Buddhist violence