Myanmar: Pagodas being built on church lands

Thursday, May 12, 2016

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - In the face of a campaign by a Buddhist monk to build pagodas on church property, Christians in Myanmar have decided to turn the other cheek.

According to Morning Star News, U Thuzana and his supporters built a Buddhist pagoda on Anglican property in Kun Taw Gyi village, Karen state, on April 23. It was the third pagoda the monk has erected on church lands.

Bishop Saw Stylo of St. Mark's Anglican Church -- where the pagoda was built -- said Christian leaders didn't want to further inflame religious and ethnic conflicts in a country seeking national reconciliation.

"The new democratic government that came into power is trying for national reconciliation and ending armed conflict," Stylo told Morning Star. "If we ignite [a religious dispute] while the country is moving forward to a new chapter of the journey, it is likely that we will pass down a bad inheritance to our next generations ...

"Burma has been a battlefield for over 60 years. The English colonized it. Armed resistances and rebellions later occurred ... We have been suffering painfully from the consequences of these conflicts."

After Stylo was informed that U Thuzana had a dream to place pagodas wherever he believes they existed two millennia ago, the bishop observed that all the places the Buddhist monk has dreamt of are in church compounds.

"We pray that he doesn't dream anymore of building more pagodas on our Christian properties," Stylo said.