Projects > Rebuilding the Santal community in Bangladesh

4 December 2017

​On 6 November 2016, police in riot gear marched into the Santal Christian community in Gaibandah District, Bangladesh. Firing rubber bullets as they went, they evicted the Christians. Local Muslims and the police then torched the Christians' mostly wooden homes. The Santal fled, forced to leave everything behind. Their houses burned on into the night. Three Christians were killed in the assault. The Santal people are an ancient ethnic minority indigenous to north-west Bangladesh. The first Santal church was built in 1867. They are used to persecution, having experienced years of exploitation and injustice from the Muslim-majority Bengalis. The community in Gaibandah were driven from their homes in November 2016 so that their land could be seized to cultivate sugar cane – there is a government-owned sugar factory nearby.Barnabas Fund is assisting the Santal Christian community from Gaibandah with building new brick houses on safe, church-owned land. The cost of 50 houses, with shared toilets, as well as repairing the school, will be £56,000. More phases of house building are planned for the future.