Myanmar Closes Christian Orphanages

Sunday, August 11, 2002

Christian ministries in Myanmar (formerly Burma) are dazed after being told to close their orphanages and other child-care and feeding programs for the poor.

A ministry leader that operates a Christian orphanage and offers several ministries to the poor and needy told Christian Aid last week that local authorities are clamping down on activities such as orphanages, child day-care centers and feeding programs for the poor when run by Christians. Authorities started closing Christian orphanages a year ago and the leader said that several of his colleagues have been told to stop operating such programs.

The reason is that many of the unfortunate children and people touched by these ministries invariably become believers in Christ. Children in public schools all have to bow to Buddha. Children attending schools run by Christian ministries do not have to bow to Buddha.

Authorities in Myanmar are trying to halt the spread of Christianity in that land. For that same reason, believers are restricted from holding house-church meetings, and in some places even holding a thanksgiving service in a house is not allowed. Singing hymns and praying is allowed by the family only if no other visitors are present.

The ministry leader said he plans to bring the child-care programs directly into the church and restrict them to Christian children only--though he said that the non-Christians will undoubtedly demand provision, also, despite the restrictions.