Myanmar: Three Baptist pastors face years in prison for organizing prayers

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Three Baptist pastors from Kachin, Myanmar are facing three years imprisonment after the Burmese regime arrested them on June 28 for organizing prayers for peace, International Christian Concern reports.

The pastors have been charged under a penal code that criminalizes causing fear, spreading false news, and agitating for criminal activity against the government.

Members of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) and the Rawang Baptist Convention, the three Christian leaders are elderly and in poor health, ICC reports. They were arrested as they prayed for peace in the country, that the deadly, prolonged fighting between the Burmese military and the pro-democracy forces in Kachin state would end. They were imprisoned on June 29 until their court hearing on July 12, ICC said.

In a statement about the pastors’ arrest and imprisonment, KBC president Dr. Hkalam Samson said there was no evidence of wrongdoing against them. “It is unacceptable if they are sentenced,” Samson said. “They must be released. If people are given prison sentences just because of hearsay and without evidence, there won’t be enough prisons in Myanmar to hold everyone,” Samson attested.

Actively endorsing Theravada Buddhism, the Burmese military regime seized control of Myanmar in a coup on February 1 and has intensified its persecution of Myanmar religious minorities - especially Christians, ICC said.