A statue representing a goddess of justice has been removed from the front of the Supreme Court in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, after protests from Islamic radical groups, who had deemed it “un-Islamic.” According to the report by Bangla news agency Prothom Alo, there was no official comment from the court or the government, but Attorney General, Mahbubey Alam said that it is “a decision of the court.” He added that the statue had been moved to another place within the court premises. The Prothom Alo report adds that hundreds of students, left-wing activists, and civil societies protested against the removal in the capital. Police fired rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Activist Imran Sarkar said, “This is a betrayal of the people. The bad thing is that the government is using it as a political tool.” Islamic radical group Hefazat has made deep inroads in Bangladeshi politics despite being one of the major culprits that spearheaded the attacks on secular activists and atheists. A speaker from the civil society says, “The legacy of Bangladesh’s liberation is under threat.” Earlier this year, conservative Muslims successfully removed cultural elements that are deemed un-Islamic from school textbooks.
What difference does the removal of a Greek statute mean for Christians? Christian sources are concerned that the removal of the statue (and the school book content) indicates that the government has compromised its secular principles and is now in league with Islamic radical groups. As such, they have the power to demand other changes, as well, changes that will ultimately realize their goal to Islamize the entire country. Believers, especially MBBs, will face increasing antagonism, pressure and persecution. Christian churches, especially Catholic churches and statues, could be the next target of this group. As such, the entire body of believers is under threat as a minority group in the country.
Father, we bring before You fellow Christians in Bangladesh as they peer into the future with concern. We pray against the trend toward Islamic radicalism, that You will strengthen the government to uphold the nation’s founding principles of equality for all religions. We pray especially for Christians and other minority groups. Comfort the believers, Father, with Your Word and trust in Your presence with them. Protect them with Your strong right arm. Where there is fear, strengthen them to remain strong in their faith and be prepared to give to everyone who asks them the reason for their hope in Christ (1 Peter 3). We pray that the name of Christ will be honored and lifted high in Bangladesh. In the name of Jesus who is gathering his church from all the nations of the world. Amen.