Two Christian men working with a nongovernmental organization in largely peaceful Bangladesh were hacked to death on July 27. Police and local officials said Islamic extremists were likely responsible.

The incident occurred in Dhopapara village in Boalmari, Faridpur district, about 90 miles from the capital, Dhaka.

Tapan Kumar Roy, 27, and Liplal Mardi, 21, worked for Christian Life Bangladesh (CLB). Along with educational films on arsenic poisoning, mother-and-child health care, and aids prevention, they often showed the Jesus film—and then only at the invitation of local villagers.

Swapon Bose, a well-known Christian leader who was familiar with the two evangelists, said an official at a local Islamic school had threatened the men prior to the murders. Some human-rights observers say the country, which is 86 percent Muslim, is becoming increasingly radicalized.

According to Ecumenical News International, Augustine Dipak Karmakar, general secretary of the Church of Bangladesh—part of the worldwide Anglican Communion—said an unprecedented series of simultaneous bomb blasts across Bangladesh in August is a "clear indication of a growing Islamic fundamentalism in our country."

Peter Bose, supervisor of CLB in Faridpur, said some villagers told him several community members had threatened to kill Roy and Mardi if they continued to show Jesus. In addition, their landlord, Bipul Kumar Bagchi, said Muslim extremists were angry over the showing of the Jesus film in their district.

Nanok Kumar Biswas, general secretary of the Hindu-Buddhist-Christian Welfare Front of Boalmari, said he believed followers of an Islamist group were responsible for the murders.

Police have made one arrest and are still investigating the incident. ...

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