By Matters India Reporter
Dhaka, June 30, 2019: Bangladesh’s first national bishop and the former moderator of the Church of Bangladesh, Barnabas D. Mondal, passed away on June 29 in Dhaka.
Bishop Mondal actively participated in the Asian and Bangladesh ecumenical movement in various capacities. He served on various committees of the East Asia Christian Conference (EACC), the forerunner of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) in the 1960s and 1970s.
Ordained as a priest in the former Anglican Church in East Pakistan in 1964, he was consecrated as the first national bishop of the Church of Bangladesh on 16 February 1975.
The Church of Bangladesh came into being as an independent church after Bangladesh became independent in 1971.
As the Bishop of Dhaka diocese and Moderator of the Church of Bangladesh for almost three decades, Bishop Mondal’s contributions in laying foundations for the present structure of a united church in the country have been widely recognised. In particular, Bishop Mondal consistently encouraged more active participation of the lay leaders in the congregations of the Church of Bangladesh.
The CCA General Secretary Dr Mathews George Chunakara expressed condolences to the bereaved family of Bishop Mondal, and the members of the Church of Bangladesh.
Recollecting his close associations with Bishop Mondal during his time as a staff of the World Council of Churches and the CCA, Chunakara stated that Bishop Mondal’s contributions to the Church of Bangladesh and the ecumenical movement will ever be remembered.
His strong passion and interest to develop a united theological education platform in Bangladesh were evident through the initiative he took to create a wider national structure for promoting ecumenical theological education in the country.
Bishop Mondal was instrumental in initiating the Bangladesh Ecumenical Foundation and Association for Theological Education (BEEFAT).
He was also one of the initiators of the South Asia Theological Education Solidarity Fund which is being facilitated through the coordination of the World Council of Churches”, Chunakara added.
The funeral of Bishop Mondal was held at the Narinda Cemetery on June 30 in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.