A majority Muslim South Asian nation is reeling in outrage over an attack upon a convent where men attempted to rape the nuns. Armed men reportedly attacked the convent of PIME, or Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku, a village mission in Dinajpur diocese in northern Bangladesh.
Catholic (h/t HPS) The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission’s two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours. They then broke down the door of the room where the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy was sleeping. They then raided the convent located in the mission campus. Twelve Muslims have been arrested in connection with the incident.
“It’s unprecedented because nuns are highly respected in Bangladesh,” Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur said. The 47-year-old Santal prelate said the nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived.
Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering.”It’s very sad that the sisters cannot continue to work for the people, but our sisters are no longer safe,” Rosaline Costa, a Catholic human rights activist lamented.
Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district’s three million people. Muslims account for nearly 77 percent, followed by Hindus 21 percent.