06/19/2021 Bangladesh (International Christian Concern) – Last week, Hindus, Christians, and Buddhists in Bangladesh joined together to participant in the annual “Black Day” protest. Each year, religious minorities demonstrate on June 9 against the adoption of Islam as the state religion in Bangladesh.
On June 9, 1988, Bangladesh adopted the eighth amendment to the Constitution which established Islam as the state religion. Each year, members of Bangladesh’s religious minority communities join to protest this amendment.
“With the amendment, the seed of sectarian politics has been planted,” Nirmol Rozario, a Christian leader, told Asia News. “In a country where Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians also live, a single religion cannot proclaim itself as the state religion. We do not agree.”
“In its Constitution, Bangladesh declares itself a secular country,” Rozario continued. “But at the same time, it says that the state religion is Islam. This is a clear contradiction. And if this state of affairs continues, Islamic fundamentalism and religious hatred will end up creating serious problems.”
In Bangladesh, religious minorities, including Christians, faced both discrimination and outright persecution. Because of this, members of the minority communities have called for the establishment of a minority commission.
“Religious minorities are often persecuted by the majority group,” Rana Dasgupta, Secretary General of the Bangladesh Hindu Buddhist Christian Unity Council, told Asia News. “For our security, we strongly demand a minority ministry and a commission for religious communities.”