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
Muslims destroy Buddhist sites
Protesters go on rampage over burned Qu'ran photoThe ruins of a 300-year-old Buddhist temple at Ramu in Coxâ€™s Bazar district
- ucanews.com reporter, Chittagong and Coxâ€™s Bazar
- October 1, 2012
The violence began on Saturday night when thousands of angry Muslim protesters attacked villages in Ramu, Ukhiya and Teknaf sub-districts of Coxâ€™s Bazar and Patiya in Chittagong, close to the border with Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
More than 100 homes were destroyed and 19 Buddhist temples, some of them centuries old, were looted and ransacked in the rampage, which lasted around five hours witnesses said. Hundreds of people were forced to flee the violence.
â€śIt was around midnight and a group of people started banging at the door. Â After failing to break it down they set our home on fire. We had to flee through the back door,â€ť said Babita Barua, 35, a college teacher from Ramu.
â€śEverything we own was lost in the fire,â€ť she added.
At least 80 people have been arrestedÂ since the riots said police, who admitted they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of protesters.
â€śWe couldnâ€™t do enough to quell the violence, but we are investigating what happened sincerely and thoroughly,â€ť said Ramu police Chief Nazibul Islam.
A curfew has been imposed in affected areas and security forces are patrolling the streets to prevent further violence.
Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir and Minister of Industries Dilip Barua, a Buddhist, inspected the damage yesterday and promised to bring the attackers to book.
â€śIt seems the attacks were premeditated and deliberate,â€ť Alamgir said yesterday, saying it appeared the protesters tried to inflict maximum damage.
The minister and local residents pointed the finger at Jamaat-e-Islami, the countryâ€™s largest Islamist party.
They said the party was using anger generated by the recent sectarian violence against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan state in Myanmar, just across the border.
However, district Jamaat chief Muhammad Shahjahan denied the allegations.
â€śJamaat is not directly or indirectly involved in attacks on minority Buddhists. Attacking any individual or religious institution canâ€™t be a way of protest and is un-Islamic. We condemn such attacks,â€ť Shahjahan said.
The Buddhist man accused of posting the Qu'ran picture on Facebook has been detained by police for his own safety. Â Police say he was tagged in the photograph but was not responsible for posting it.
Arrests follow protests over film
New mosque plans spark clashes