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Aenon Shalom/Compass Direct News

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3 tortured in Bangladesh for proclaiming Christ

DHAKA, Bangladesh (BP)--At the urging of local Muslim leaders, police in western Bangladesh have tortured a pastor and two other Christians for legally proclaiming Christ.       Habibur Rahman, 45, pastor of Boalia Spiritual Church in Boalia in Cuadanga district, 136 miles west of Dhaka, said he was about to meet with 11 others for a monthly meeting on evangelism June 8 when local police stormed in and seized him and Zahid Hassan, 25, and a 40-year-old Christian identified only as Fazlur.       The first question the police commander asked him, Rahman said, was, "Why did you become Christian?"       "Using a lot of filthy words, he charged me that I was teaching the Bible and converting people to Christianity in this area," the pastor told Compass Direct News.       In May, a police patrol chief had threatened to seize him at a church meeting but was misinformed about the time it would take place, Rahman said.       The commander who seized him and the two others was a sub-inspector with the name Khaleque on his badge, Rahman said. Police dragged them to a nearby parked vehicle and transported them to Shamvunagar police camp.       "Police told us, 'We will teach you in the camp how to forget your Christ,' while dragging us to the vehicle," Rahman said.       Police blindfolded them after reaching the camp and took them to three separate rooms.       "I heard blood-curdling scream from other rooms," Rahman said. "I was sitting on the floor blindfolded. I could not understand what was happening around me. Later several police came to me and one of them kicked me on the back of my head, and my head ricocheted off the wall...."