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Kutupalong refugee camp
Rohingya refugee camp Kutupalong.jpg
Kutupalong refugee camp
World News

Pastor and daughter abducted from Bangladesh refugee camp

by Tola Mbakwe

A pastor and his 14-year-old daughter have been abducted from a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the abduction two weeks ago happened a day after a large mob attacked 22 Christian families in the camp in Cox's Bazaar.

It's been reported Christians had their shelters vandalised and personal items stolen. The attack left twelve Christian refugees injured and hospitalised. A makeshift Christian church and school were also destroyed. 

Families reported the incident to police after relocating to a United Nations transit centre. 

Roshida, the pastor's wife, told HRW that she fears her husband, Taher, and daughter have been killed. 

"No one can give me any clear information, but my relatives told me that my daughter has been forced to convert to Islam and marry," she said. 

The Benar News Agency and Radio Free Asia report that camp residents believe the attackers are from the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), which is an ethnic Rohingya armed group that claims to fight for Rohingya rights. 

An ARSA representative has denied any wrongdoing and condemned the attacks on Christians.

Christians in the camp are not hopeful that they will be safe. The victims said Bangladesh authorities are treating the incident as an "ordinary law and order incident", not Christian persecution. They also said authorities aren't doing much to find the pastor and his daughter. 

Rohingya Christians are minority in the predominantly Muslim ethnic group. 

The Myanmar government forced Rohingyas out of the country in 2017 in what has been viewed as ethnic cleansing. 

Many of them fled to Bangladesh.

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