Rebels reopen half of closed Baptist churches in Burma

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - 51 Baptist churches were allowed to reopen in Burma, where 100 were shut down in 2018 by armed ethnic Wa rebels.

The United Wa State Army said the churches had been under investigation for 14 months, and faulted them for having some "extreme" members and for "creat[ing] disunity with local ethnic communities."

"I don't think churches and our religious activities create division and problems, because we have churches that belong to ethnic Wa, Kachin, Lahu, Ahkar and Lisu," a local leader named the Rev. Lazarus told Morning Star News, listing the main ethnic groups of Burma.

The Wa rebels, the largest ethnic armed group in Burma outside the government, declared their sovereignty over Wa State in 2009.