Myanmar Pastors Face Prison Over Prayer Service

Thursday, July 29, 2021

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

(Worthy News) - Church leaders in conflict-ridden Myanmar demand the immediate release of three pastors detained for organizing prayers- for-peace services.

The Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), representing hundreds of churches, also called for prayers amid concerns about the pastors’ health.

Pastor Hawng Di, in his 70s, reportedly has high blood pressure and suffers from stomach problems. Another pastor is recovering from a stroke, according to Christians familiar with their case.

Marip Yaw Shu, chairman of the Rawang Literature and Culture Committee (RLCC), filed a lawsuit against the pastors for holding an interdenominational prayer service.

The March 3 service was held in Naungmoon township of Putao district after the army seized power in a military coup on February 1.

The pastors leading the gathering, Koshan Singsar, Z Kaw Htinah, and M Hawng Di, were detained on June 28, Christians said.

The RLCC reportedly accused the pastors “of incitement of causing fear, spreading false news and agitating for criminal offenses against government employees.”

If convicted, they face a possible three years’ imprisonment, according to rights activists.

It comes amid growing military pressure on Christian minorities in heavily Buddhist Myanmar, also known as Burma, Worthy News monitored.

Churches have been bombed and thousands of believers displaced at a time of ongoing fighting between government forces and coup opponents.