JHENAIDAH, Bangladesh — The barbaric Islamic group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for the murder of a Bangledishi man who reportedly converted to Christianity from Islam.
“Soldiers of the caliphate were able to eliminate the apostate, named ‘Samir al-Din’, by stabbing him with a knife,” the SITE Intelligence Group reported on Thursday.
According to reports, the 85-year-old man was a homeopathic doctor who preached the gospel following his conversion in 2001. He is stated to have led nearly 500 people to Christ.
“He was devoted to preaching Christianity. That’s why the militants killed him,” Harun-or-Rashid of One Way Church told BD News 24.
However, al-Din’s son claims that his father never converted and that he prayed five times a day toward Mecca.
One Way Church disagrees, stating that he was just “in a meeting of the church at Gopinathpur village on Jan 3” and that he had told others that his life was in danger.
“The local church has shown us papers confirming his conversion to Christianity in 2001. But family members have told us that he used to offer prayers as a Muslim,” Mohammad Azbahar Ali Shaikh, a superintendent of police, told Benar News in confirming that there are conflicted reports over al-Din’s religion.
al-Din was found on Thursday lying in a coffin-like structure with blood on his chest and an injury to his hand. He is believed to have been stabbed while working at his homeopathic practice.
While police have doubts that ISIS was responsible for the murder, they have strongly condemned the attack.
“We have been providing maximum protection to all minorities. We will do whatever necessary to crush the militants in Bangladesh,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters.
As previously reported, Bangladeshi Christians have been on edge over the threat Muslim attacks in recent months, including reports of actual violence, such as the story of Luke Sarker, 52, who suffered minor injuries after he was knifed by three Islamic men who came to his home pretending to want to learn more about Christianity.
“Christians are certainly sensing a ‘heightened’ security risk,” Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI) told reporters last month.