Two Adventists Arrested in Largely Muslim Bangladesh
From ANN, March 27, 2015: Two Adventists were detained last week in Bangladesh for reasons that remain unclear despite the fact that they have been released pending a court hearing, stated Pastor Garrett Caldwell, media spokesman for the denomination in Washington DC. Adventist leaders in Bangladesh are seeking to clarify the circumstances surrounding the case.
“While the Seventh-day Adventist Church places a high value on religious freedom and encourages respect for all religious traditions, we realize that misunderstandings may occur in areas of the world where we are a religious minority,” Caldwell said. “It is our hope that the situation can be resolved as we work with local authorities to clarify the matter.” He asked Adventists worldwide to pray about the situation.
Bangladesh, which is bordered on three sides by India and Myanmar to its southeast, has the world’s fourth-largest Muslim population after Indonesia, Pakistan, and India. An estimated 86 percent of the population of 157 million is Muslim, followed by 12 percent Hindu and 1 percent Buddhist. Christians of all denominations comprise less than a half percent of the population.
There are less than 40,000 members of the 400 some Adventist congregations in Bangladesh with only two dozen ordained clergy. The denomination operates a dental clinic in Dhaka, the southern Asia nation’s largest city, as well as a seminary, college and publishing house.
The Adventist News Network (ANN) is the official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.