Protest by Rohingya Muslims prevents burial of Christian at refugee camp in Bangladesh

7 September 2021

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The body of a Christian Rohingya refugee was left without burial for 30 hours because of a protest by Rohingya Muslims, who form the majority of people at the sprawling Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Muslims have for many years allowed Christians to be buried in the Kutupalong camp; however, they refused to grant the burial of Christian Mohi Uddin, who died of illness, and formed a barrier to prevent the interment.

The tightly packed camp at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh is home to nearly one million Rohingya refugees [Image credit: UNICEF]

“The camp manager and the UN staff tried to solve the problem, but couldn’t,” said a local Christian. “For the first time we buried the body of a Rohingya Christian at another district due to the opposition of Muslims, even if for years the bodies of all the faithful were buried together.”

Mohi Uddin was eventually interred at the Baptist Church of Patiya.

The isolated group of around 60 Rohingya Christian families live among nearly one million mainly Muslim ethnic Rohingya who fled their homeland to escape genocide at the hands of the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw). In Cox’s Bazar, Christians are persecuted by an extremist minority among the Rohingya Muslim refugees.

In March 2021 many Christian families lost their shelter and few possessions when fire engulfed the tightly packed camp, killing 11 people and injuring 560.

From Barnabas Fund contacts and other sources

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