Christian Persecution Around the World
Children pray to the One True God in Myanmar (Burma)
World Ignores Myanmar Persecution Of Christians
By Prophecy News Watch Staff
October 18, 2018
Reprinted from: Prophecy News Watch
A group known as the United Wa State Army (UWSA) has carried out the destruction of 3 churches in addition to the seizure and stripping of 52 more churches this year and is still holding 92 Christians hostage until they agree to sign a pledge not to practice their religion.
More than a hundred already have already signed. UWSA is a rebel faction that enjoys the tacit approval of the central government in its fight against other rebel factions, but which has turned its attention recently on eradicating Christianity in Myanmar instead of warring directly with other factions.
The UWSA is the military of the ruling party now in charge of Wa state and is also the area’s largest ethnic group, but its efforts against Christians are taking place in neighboring Shan State.
The Lahu Baptist Convention, based in Eastern Shan State, has published accounts of forcible recruiting of at least 41 students by the UWSA. The abductions of both young men and women happened in Bible study classes in churches in Shan State. The areas in which the UWSA is conducting its campaign of repression are now cut off and travel is difficult to impossible.
Rev. Dr. Lazarus, a spokesman for the Lahu Baptist Convention said in the group’s press release, “We are very worried about our members who have been detained because we have lost contact with them. We heard that when they were taken, they were not allowed to take their clothes with them. The weather in Mong Pauk is cold.”
The UWSA has declared in a broad statement on September 6th that all churches constructed after 1989 are illegal and must be surrendered or demolished. The army has called for the expulsion of foreigners, investigations into teachers, missionaries and clergy and demanded that all religious leader be locals who have the permission of the Wa ruling party.
This statement was followed by a wave of violence against Christians and the outright destruction of at least three churches and the seizure of others, some of which were converted into police stations.
The indefinite detention of leaders in the Christian community is justified, according to UWSA spokesman Nyi Rang, because there are “extremists” present in their community. Officials have issued an outright ban on Christians assembling or praying in churches and in the city of Mong Pauk, Wa officials warned Christians not to practice their faith even at home.
Locals believe that the Christians who have been detained are currently imprisoned in the UWSA army fortifications in Mong Maw. Tat Jack, a local resident and a Christian whose family is in detention, told journalists, “My uncle is a preacher. He and his son were detained in early September, but we are not allowed to visit them. We also heard that many members of the Christian community there are detained.”
Those who have been detained for practicing Christianity and later released, even the women, have had their heads shaved as a warning to others in the Christian community.
With dozens of churches shut down and hundreds of Christians still in detention with many more already arrested and released, an air of fear hangs over Shan State in Myanmar. Despite the nascent campaign of arrest and torture, no deaths have been reported yet in this quickly escalating cycle of violence.
But the signs are the same everywhere Christians suffer persecution and they are unmistakable: label preachers as extremists, target foreigners, declare churches illegal and arrest Christians. Next comes mass disappearances followed by burned villages and open murders.
While this campaign has been carried about by the UWSA rebel group, the Myanmar military itself has itself destroyed or converted churches, bombing or demolishing 40 over the past 18 months in the Kachin province and turning another 20 into Buddhist pagodas.
Myanmar is a dictatorship and Christians are perceived as a threat to dictators and warlords. They see in the Word of God a challenge to the absolute power that they seek on Earth. Christianity is labeled as “extremism” and prayer has becomes, to the Communist regime, an act of insurrection.
If you want to help the Christians in Myanmar, pray and spread the word. Let people know that Christians are suffering from repression that is fast approaching genocide. If enough people wake up now, if enough eyes are on the UWSA and Myanmar military, maybe the killings can be averted.