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Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Catholics caught up in ugly land disputes

Most court cases arise because 160 million people are crammed into a small country

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Bangladeshi Catholics caught up in ugly land disputes

Bangladesh is a small country packed with 160 million people, so land disputes are common and it is often the poor who suffer most. (Photo: Rock Ronald Rozario/ucanews)

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Residents in a southern Bangladesh village were shocked to hear that a violent clash erupted recently between two Catholic families.

The mob violence was the culmination of a bitter dispute lasting more than two years over ownership of a small plot of land

South Haldibunia village is near the country’s second largest port — Mongla in Bagerhat district — and also close to the Sundarbans mangrove forest, an area covered by St. Paul’s Church in Mongla under Khulna Diocese.

The sense of shock was understandable, happening in a village where people of various faiths — Catholic Christians, Hindus and Muslims — have been living peacefully together for decades.

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