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News from India & Bangladesh May - October 2006

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Warmest greetings from the Church of Bangladesh.

I am writing this with mixed feelings of happiness and worry about our life in the Church of Bangladesh. On 16 December 2005 we were able to rededicate our Cathedral building. It was in a very bad state, and we could restore and renovate it by the generous donations received from the United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church and from the Prestbyterian Church, USA. More than 700 people attended the Cathedral Rededication Service, held on the morning of the 16th. Then we had a Fellowship Feast, and in the evening a joyful pre-Christmas Carol Service.

In December problems arose with St. Paul’s Brotherhood at Barisal. When Father Martin Hira Mondol returned from England he could not go back to Barisal, and we sent him to St. Andrew’s Mission at Haluaghat to help there in the High School. Only Father Franci Pandey is now at Barisal: two Postulants have left and gone to their homes.

January and February are the months of our Revival Meetings (Boro Sobhas). On 26th29th January we had our Haluaghat Deanery Boro Sobha in Thanarbaid, which is a Garo people’s area in Madhipur under Tangail district. You will be surprised to know that we had to ask the Local Government to give us police protection to hold it in such a rural area. Many people from the South and North came to this meeting. On 2nd-4th February we had our Jobarpar Deanery Boro Sobha at Jobarpar. It was a very joyous occasion and was attended by many people, including Mr. Denis Doble, Mrs. Margaret How and Mrs. Liz Crocker. In Kushtia Diocese too they have had their Boro Sobhas, one in Nityanandapur and the other in Rajshahi. So far I have heard all went well, and they had a wonderful time of fellowship and prayer.

On 5th January there was the Centenary Celebration of our St. Mary’s Church in Jobarpar. In the morning we had a lovely Thanksgiving and Worship Service which was attended by more than 1,000 people. Later there was a reception attended by our guests from abroad, and also the local Member of Parliament. It was no surprise that during all these days in Jobarpar we were under police protection. Then we had the Love Feast. It was a day for us, the Church of Bangladesh, to express our thanks and gratitude to many, including the Fathers of the Oxford Mission, who devoted their lives to us and to the extension of the Lord’s kingdom in this country.

The political situation in Bangladesh is becoming more chaotic every day as our next Parliamentary election will be held early next year. The terrorist activities have cooled down a little these days as some of the leaders have been arrested and are under trial. While writing this, the good news which has drawn the attention of the country is that the second-in-command of the terrorist group has been captured and arrested. The No. 1 leader is still hiding.

Please continue to remember us in your prayers.

With every good wish,

Yours sincerely,

Bishop of Dhaka and Moderator, Church of Bangladesh


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