Tuesday, September 1, 2015

'Evil-spirited' woman killed in Bangladesh church ucanews.com

Police in Bangladesh's northern Rajshahi district arrested six tribal Santal Catholics on Aug. 26 for allegedly beating a woman to death in the name of "releasing her from an evil spirit" inside a local Catholic Church.

The suspects allegedly took Fulmoni Mardi, 60, into St. John Mary Vianney Church in Mundumala on the night of Aug. 25 and beat her to "free her from the spell of an evil spirit," a police official said.

"The woman is a victim of superstition and maltreatment. We found serious injuries on her body which caused her death," said Anwar Hossain, officer in-charge at Tanore police station, which covers Mundumala.

"We have arrested six people after the victim’s daughter Shefali Hembrom filed a murder case. We will arrest more people for investigation and interrogation if necessary," the officer added.

The woman’s family members and relatives said they took her to the group as local villagers had talked about their miraculous healing power.
The parish priest, Father Michael Corraya, said he was asleep when people came to the church with the woman and beat her to death. The priest denied backing the group but admitted that he "partially" believed in their healing power.

"I have heard from people that they were healing people, because we do use charismatic prayers and Holy Water to heal sick people. But I never thought these people would go to such extremes," said Father Corraya.
The incident shows a challenging reality for the Catholic Church in the tribal-majority Dinajpur and Rajshahi dioceses of northern Bangladesh.

Thousands of tribal people, including Santals, were converted to Christianity after 1904 by European missionaries. However, traditional belief and superstitions are still common among the mostly poor and illiterate tribal people, said Father Harun Hembrom, secretary of the diocesan Justice and Peace Commission in Rajshahi and a tribal Santal himself.

'Evil-spirited' woman killed in Bangladesh church ucanews.com

See also:

Six Tribal Santal Catholics Kill Bangladeshi Woman to Release the “Evil Spirit” Inside

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