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The Crisis that Christians Face in Myanmar

For a long time now, the media have been covering the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar. But there’s another problem that the media overlooked – the situation of Christians in the country.

“Christians will face more restrictions and be closely monitored by the United Wa State Army, so the situation is worrisome,” Rev. Lazarus said.

It has been reported that the Christian population in the northern Kachin State of Myanmar is facing difficulties, as well as Christians in the eastern Shan State. Rev. Lazarus, general secretary of the Lahu Baptist Convention in Kyaing Tong, said in an interview with UCA News that recently, many Christians were forced to sign papers to restrict the scope of their faith after being held captive by the United Wa State Army. It is a rebel army force that came was known as Communist Party of Burma.

According to Myanmar Times, the group said they seized Christians because of “extremism and destabilizing its territory”. U Nyi Rang, spokesperson of the United Wa State Army, said such measures are necessary as they are preparing for the celebration of the 30th Peace Festival that will be held on April 17 next year. “We want stability and rule of law in our area, so extremists may be arrested,” he said.

“Christians will face more restrictions and be closely monitored by the United Wa State Army, so the situation is worrisome,” Rev. Lazarus said.

According to the Baptist Convention, the rebel group captured 92 Christians and 41 students of Hotao Lahu Baptist Bible School and forced them to serve in the military. While many were then released, they were told to pray only at home and not in churches. Also, five churches were destroyed, while 52 Christian schools were shut down.

Four million Christians call Myanmar their home, according to Open Doors USA, a Christian persecution watchdog. The organization said over 100,000 Christians live in internally displaced camps, without access to food and healthcare.

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