The Church of Bangladesh (Bengali: চার্চ অব বাংলাদেশ) is a united Protestant church formed by the union of various Protestant churches in Bangladesh, principally the Anglican and Presbyterian denominations. The Church of Bangladesh is full communion with the Anglican Communion. Also it's a member of World Communion of Reformed Churches.


Church of Bangladesh
চার্চ অব বাংলাদেশ
AbbreviationC of B
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationAnglican
Presbyterian
ScriptureHoly Bible
TheologyReformed
PolityMixed polity with episcopal and presbyterian elements[1]
GovernanceEpiscopal
StructureSynod
Archbishop & PrimateThe Most Reverend Samuel Sunil Mankhin; enthroned on 5 December 2018 (Bishop of Dhaka)
Deputy ModeratorThe Right Reverend Shourabh Pholia (Bishop of Barisal)
Bishops3
Cathedral3
AssociationsAnglican Communion, World Communion of Reformed Churches[2]
RegionBangladesh
HeadquartersModerator & Dhaka Diocesan Bishop's Office
54 Johnson Road, Sadarghat
Dhaka 1100
Bangladesh
TerritoryBangladesh
Origin30 April 1974; 49 years ago (1974-04-30)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Separated fromChurch of Pakistan
Parishes151
Members25000+ (as of 2024)
Priests31
Missionaries
Hospitals2
Nursing homes1
Primary schools44
Tertiary institutions1 (St. Andrew's Theology College, Bangladesh)
Other name(s)CoB
PublicationsKapot (কপোত)
Official websitechurchofbangladesh.org
SloganWitnessing Christ

The history of the plantation of this united Protestant church is quite old. Presbyterianism and Anglicanism in Bengal became established from the time of British rule in colonial India; since the Anglican Church in England is called the Church of England, the Anglican Church in undivided India was known as the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon, which eventually became the Church of North India, Church of South India and Church of Pakistan; after the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan, the Church of Bangladesh emerged from the Church of Pakistan.

The Church of Bangladesh currently has three dioceses – Dhaka Diocese (Archbishop Samuel Sunil Mankhin), Kushtia Diocese (Bishop Hemen Halder), and Barisal Diocese (Bishop Shourabh Pholia). There are a total of 8 deaneries and 115 parishes under the three dioceses. The population is about 22,000. Membership is diverse, including many different cultures. About half of the total members are from the Garo, Santal, Marma and Chakma ethnic groups of Bangladesh.

History edit

The Church of Bangladesh came into being as the outcome of the separation of East Bengal province from Pakistan. This started as a movement which focused on language and took shape through the liberation war in 1971, which created an independent Bangladesh. The Synod of the Church of Pakistan on 30 April 1974 declared and endorsed a free and independent status for the Church of Bangladesh. The Church of Bangladesh brings together the Anglican and English Presbyterian Churches.

Following the creation of the Church of Bangladesh, efforts were made to increase local leadership. B. D. Mondal was consecrated as the first national bishop of Dhaka Diocese in 1975. He tried to follow the path of Bishop Blair, by encouraging the active participation of lay leaders from all sections of the church congregations. After the creation of the synod, B. D. Mondal became the first moderator of the Church of Bangladesh and Michael S. Baroi the deputy moderator. At the time of B. D. Mondal's retirement, a new bishop was elected, and Paul Sarker, in January 2003, became the third national bishop of the Church of Bangladesh. Although the title is not employed in this United Protestant denomination, since the acknowledgement of the bishop of Dhaka as a primate within the Anglican Communion, he has been entitled to the usual archepiscopal prefix "the Most Reverend".[3] The current Primate and Archbishop of Church of Bangladesh is Samuel Mankhin, enthroned on 5 December 2018.

Book of Common Prayer edit

 
The Church of Bangladesh Book of Common Prayer approved in 1997

The Book of Common Prayer produced by the Church of Bangladesh, translated literally as "prayer book" (Bengali: প্রার্থনা বই) was approved by synod in 1997.[4] The book contains prayers translated from the traditional Book of Common Prayer as well as those from the Church of North India and the CWM's Prayer Letter, along with original compositions by the Church of Bangladesh.

Dioceses edit

There are three dioceses in the Church of Bangladesh:

Church of Bangladesh Diocese of Dhaka edit

Erected in 1956 by dividing the Diocese of Calcutta, the diocese (originally called "East Bengal")[5] covered all East Pakistan. It was in the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon until the 1970 union of the Church of Pakistan. It became the sole diocese of the Church of Bangladesh upon the church's 30 April 1974 independence. Since it was split to create Kushtia diocese, the Moderator of the Synod has usually also been Archbishop of Dhaka Church of Bangladesh.[6]


Church of Bangladesh Diocese of Kushtia edit

Founded from Dhaka diocese in 1990; the Bishop in Kushtia was ex officio deputy moderator until 2018,[6] when the new bishop in Barisal became deputy moderator (as the second most senior bishop by consecration).

  • Michael S. Baroi (consecrated 30 November 1990, St Peter's Ratanpur)
  • Paul Shishir Sarkar (consecrated 5 January 2003, Oxford Mission Church)
  • ?–2019: Samuel Sunil Mankhin (consecrated 8 November 2009, St Mary's Haluaghat; Moderator since 19 November 2018)[9]
  • 2019–present: Hemen Halder (consecrated 27 January 2019)[10]


Church of Bangladesh Diocese of Barisal edit

Formed in 2017[11] from Dhaka diocese.[12]

Anglican realignment edit

The Church of Bangladesh is a member of the Global South. Former Moderator Paul Sarker attended an Anglican Church in North America meeting on 13–15 May 2017, at Holy Cross Cathedral, in Loganville, Georgia. He and Archbishop Foley Beach, of the ACNA, signed "A Joint Statement on Communion from the Primate of Bangladesh and the Primate of the Anglican Church", to affirm and celebrate the communion between both churches. It was also discussed how both provinces could work together with mission partnerships. The Church of Bangladesh was the first united province of the Anglican Communion to declare full communion with the ACNA.[16][17]

The Church of Bangladesh was not represented at GAFCON III, on 17–22 June 2018, because it took place in Jerusalem, but Samuel Sunil Mankhin attended G19, the additional conference that took place in Dubai, on 25 February – 1 March 2019.[18][19]

References edit

  1. ^ Sachs, William L. (2017). The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Volume V: Global Anglicanism, c. 1910-2000. Oxford University Press. p. 413. ISBN 978-0-19-252094-4.
  2. ^ Mankhin, Samuel Sunil (14 January 2020). "Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of Bangladesh". Retrieved 21 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Member Church - Bangladesh". Anglican Communion. Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  4. ^ প্রার্থনা বই [Prayer Book] (in Bengali). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Church of Bangladesh. 1997.
  5. ^ "Obituaries: Bishop James Blair". Church Times. No. 6677. 1 February 1991. p. 6. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 24 July 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  6. ^ a b "Our History". Church of Bangladesh. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  7. ^ "Gazette: deaths". Church Times. No. 6677. 1 February 1991. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 24 July 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  8. ^ Conger, George (2016-01-03). "Primates of the Anglican Communion - Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh". Anglican Ink © 2020. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  9. ^ a b c "Church of Bangladesh has new Moderator and Deputy Moderator". Church of Bangladesh. 2018-11-27. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  10. ^ "Rev. Hemen Halder was consecrated as the new Bishop of Kushtia Diocese". Church of Bangladesh. 2019-02-12. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  11. ^ "The First Council of Barisal diocese held". Church of Bangladesh. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  12. ^ "Dhaka Diocese Council 2016 held". Church of Bangladesh. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  13. ^ "Bishop Elected for Barisal Diocese". Church of Bangladesh. 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  14. ^ "Bishop Consecration held" (PDF). Church of Bangladesh Newslatter. January–May 2017.
  15. ^ "Enthronement of Rt. Rev. Shourabh Pholia". Church of Bangladesh. 2017-08-01. Retrieved 2020-08-27.
  16. ^ A Joint Statement on Communion from the Primate of Bangladesh and the Primate of the Anglican Church, ACNA Official Website.
  17. ^ "Moderator in USA with PCUSA" (PDF). Church of Bangladesh Newsletter (Special Issue January-May 2017 ed.). Church of Bangladesh. June 2017. p. 7. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  18. ^ Fuel for Prayer Archived 2019-04-08 at the Wayback Machine, GAFCON Official Website.
  19. ^ Standing with the Suffering, GAFCON Official Website, 1 April 2019.

External links edit