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Bangladeshis flock to weeping Virgin


Thousands of people in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong are flocking to a church where tears are reported to have been seen on a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Many of those visiting the church are Muslims, eager to see what some locals believe is a sign of the Virgin's dismay over the recent outbreak of violence in the country and elsewhere in the world.

In a country which is overwhelmingly Muslim, it is unusual for a symbol of the Christian faith to attract much interest.

But so many people are gathering outside the Chittagong church that police have been deployed to ensure law and order is maintained.

Muslims are queuing to see the statue even though the Koran warns believers against showing an interest in religious idols.

Catholics in Chittagong say that most people are queuing up to see the statue because they are inquisitive.

Around 90% of Bangladesh's 130 million population is Muslim. In Chittagong, the second-largest city in the country, there are only around 8,000 Christians in a city of over four million people.

SOURCE
BBC

LINKS
Diocese of Chittagong (catholic-hierarachy.org)
Christianity in Bangladesh (Jerome D'Costa) | Catholic Bishops Conference of Bangladesh
Church renegs on deal to sell commercial rights to Guadalupe virgin (19/2/03)
Weeping Mary withdrawn from church display (18/2/03)


20 Feb 2003