Rohingya refugees rest after crossing from Myanmar into Bangladesh in September. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled violent persecution in Myanmar and now cling to riverbanks in Bangladesh, surviving in misery.
(FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Once upon a time here in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this teeming city on the Buriganga River, the bells of the Holy Resurrection Church echoed for miles. Armenians built their house of Orthodox Christian worship amid the palm groves in 1781, almost two centuries after Persian Shah Abbas the Great conquered eastern Armenia and thousands of them migrated to Bengal. They and their progeny prospered as traders in jute, silk and leather. In 1880, the church clock stopped ticking, perhaps because of rust from the tropical damp, and the bells rang no more. Despite that ill omen, the Armenians of Dhaka were among the lucky few of their compatriots spared the Ottoman Turks' genocide during World War I.
Yet genocide is no stranger to Bangladesh, known from 1947 to 1971 as East Pakistan. More than a million Bangladeshis died during the India-Pakistan War of 1971, when West Pakistani soldiers raped tens of thousands...