KOLKATA, INDIA — Churches in Bangladesh skipped the traditional Christmas midnight mass services this year due to the increasing number of threats against Christian leaders, allegedly by Muslim extremists. Catholic houses of worship in the town of Dinajpur were among those that took the unusual step of opting out of holding the annual late night services because of security concerns voiced by the community.
“Several church leaders in Dinajpur have received death threats over the past weeks. Police advised us to remain as cautious as possible. All Catholic churches in this diocese decided not to hold mass at midnight this Christmas,” the bishop of Dinajpur, Sebastian Tudu, told VOA in an interview Thursday.