DHAKA: A Catholic priest whose disappearance in Bangladesh days before a visit by Pope Francis raised fears among minority Christians has been found safe and well, police said yesterday. Walter William Rosario, a 40-year-old priest and school headmaster, went missing on Monday from a village in northern Bangladesh where suspected Islamist extremists last year hacked a Catholic grocer to death. His disappearance followed a rise in Islamist extremism in the Muslim-majority country, where at least three Christians, including two converts from Islam, have been hacked to death in recent years.
Police said Rosario had been found in the northeastern city of Sylhet, adding the disappearance was likely for personal reasons. “He has been found unscathed,” said Biplob Bijoy Talukder, police chief in Rosario’s home district of Natore. The news came as Pope Francis met with Rohingya refugees in Dhaka at the end of a visit dominated by the plight of the Muslim minority who have fled ethnic unrest in Myanmar and taken refuge in Bangladesh.