Burmese officals order closure of a church in Chin State

Christian crosses are brought down in Mindate, Chin state in Burma.

The recent election in Burma has been widely condemned as being a corrupt ploy to place the military generals firmly in power for the foreseeable future. It seems that now they are continuing their campaign to eliminate minority religious and ethnic groups, particularly Christians.

Burmese Officials Order Closure of Church in Chin State

Government punishes pastor for refusing to wear campaign T-shirt, amid other election abuses.

By Sarah Page

DUBLIN, November 18 (Compass Direct News) — Officials in Mergui Region (or Division), Burma, ordered a Baptist church to cease holding worship services after the pastor refused to wear an election campaign T-shirt supporting the military government’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). The election commission summoned 47-year-old Pastor Mang Tling of Dawdin village, Gangaw township, Mergui division on Nov. 9, two days after the election and ordered him to stop holding services and discontinue the church nursery program, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) reported. Village headman U Than Chaung had given the pastor a campaign T-shirt to wear in support of the USDP, and when he refused to wear it, the headman filed a report with local authorities accusing him of persuading Christian voters to vote in favor of an opposing party, the Chin National Party. Officials interrogated Mang Tling in Gangaw until Sunday (Nov. 14), when he was allowed to return home. The USDP won the election amid widespread evidence of advance” voting and other forms of voter manipulation throughout Burma. The Chin National Party defeated the USDP in three electorates in Chin state despite reports of widespread voting anomalies, some of which were outlined by CHRO. In Tedim township northern Chin state, for example, USDP agent Go Lun Mang went to the home of a local resident at 5 p.m. the day before the election and told the family that he had already voted on their behalf in favor of the USDP. Meantime, the release of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in Burma on Saturday (Nov. 13) has sparked cautious optimism about human rights among Christians and the country’s ethnic minorities even as the junta does battle with armed resistance groups.

Please pray for the Christians in Burma in these very turbulent and uncertain times.

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