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Low church turnouts as Covid-19 cases soar in Bangladesh

Catholics wary of attending services as a doctor warns of mounting problems

Low church turnouts as Covid-19 cases soar in Bangladesh

A priest celebrates Sunday Mass in an empty Catholic church in the Mirpur area of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the recent easing of restrictions, churches have seen low attendances due to soaring cases and deaths. (Photo: Stephan Uttom/UCA News)

Low attendances have marked church services including Masses as most churches reopened in Bangladesh following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Seven out of eight Catholic archdioceses and dioceses in the Muslim-majority country opened their doors for public liturgy as state authorities decided not to extend a general holiday-cum-shutdown beyond May 30.

Sunday Masses continue to be livestreamed to allow Catholics to participate in the liturgy from home.

Holy Rosary Catholic Church in the center of capital Dhaka has started offering three Sunday Masses and one on Saturday evening amid low turnouts.

In normal times, each Sunday Mass attracts several thousand Catholics. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, little more than 100 people have been attending Masses subject to restrictions for health safety.

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