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Catholic woman rises to top govt post in Bangladesh

Appointment of Nomita Halder as top ministry civil servant dispels notions of religious prejudice in govt, Christians say
Catholic woman rises to top govt post in Bangladesh

Nomita Halder (front - second from right) with Christian leaders in Dhaka in this file photo. (Photo Collected from Facebook)    

Published: July 26, 2017 05:48 AM GMT
Updated: July 26, 2017 05:50 AM GMT

A Catholic woman has been appointed to one of Bangladesh’s top bureaucratic posts, drawing praise from the country’s minority Christian community.

Nomita Halder from Shelabunia Church in Khulna Diocese was appointed acting secretary of the Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Ministry.

She is the first Christian in Bangladesh to hold such a high post in the civil service since independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Halder had served as a personal secretary to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since 2014.

Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka hailed the appointment.

"Nomita Halder's appointment is a matter of joy and honor to minority Christians in Bangladesh. She has been very helpful to the church in times of need, and hopefully her new post will broaden the scope of her support to the community further," Cardinal D’Rozario said.

Nirmol Rozario, president of Bangladesh Christian Association described Halder's appointment as an "inspiration" to the Christian community.

"She has been appointed to the post deservedly. She has proved the notion that minorities can’t get top government posts is wrong. We had a state minister from the Christian community and now we have a secretary. It is not just a matter of joy but also a great source of inspiration," Rozario told ucanews.com.

In Bangladesh, Muslims account for 90 percent of the 160 million population; Hindus 8 percent and the rest belong to other religions including Buddhism and Christians. The majority of the estimated 600,000 Christians are Catholic.


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