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Buddhist Extremists Capture then Release Eight Christians

Written By: Caroline Anderson  |  Posted: Monday, September 27th, 2010

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (BP)--Buddhist extremists detained eight Chakma Christians, members of a Baptist church in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, for four days in August. The extremists held the men - a pastor, church secretary, village leader and five church members - captive in a Buddhist temple to attempt to force them to return to Buddhism, international Christians Grady and Josette Lindem* reported. During their captivity, the Buddhist extremists forced the men to adopt a Buddhist lifestyle and worship. The Christian believers had to wear Buddhist robes, shave their heads, bow down before a statue of Buddha and clean the temple, the Lindems said. The extremists threatened the believers with severe beatings and even death if they tried to escape.

The Christians, detained Aug. 23, originally were told they would be confined to the temple for seven to 15 days, but after four days in captivity the men were released under orders that they remain Buddhist.
"They are not allowed to pray to Jesus nor read Bibles, but they say they are still Christian in their hearts, " Josette Lindem said. Both the extremists and the Christians are Chakmas. Although most Chakmas are Buddhists, about 3, 000 Chakmas are evangelical Christians, said Burt Galvin*, who for several years served among tribal peoples in Bangladesh.

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