British Legislators Condemn "Massive Church Closures" In Burma

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | Tag Cloud

Worthy News Chief International Correspondent Stefan J. Bos

RANGOON, BURMA (Worthy News) -- Dozens of British legislators expressed concern Tuesday, February 10, over reports of massive church closures in Burma, seen as "the most significant crackdown" on Christian activity in the military-ruled Asian nation in years, an advocacy group told Worthy News.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide said 33 British parliamentarians signed a motion urging the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Asma Jilani Jahangir, to investigate violations of religious freedom in Burma, as "at least 100 churches" were closed in the capital Rangoon last month.

The Early Day Motion was proposed by John Bercow, who co-chairs of the All Parliamentary Group for Democracy in Burma, also known as Myanmar, CSW said.  "The church closures mark the most significant crackdown on Christian activity in Burma in recent years, affecting as many as 80 per cent of churches in Rangoon," said CSW, which has investigated the situation in Burma.

The group said some 50 pastors were forced to sign documents promising to stop holding church services, "under threat of prison for non-compliance."


Some local Christians have linked the reported crackdown to church involvement in aid to victims of last year's devastating Cyclone Nargis, which killed at least 140,000 people and displaced 800,000 more.

Aid workers have warned that the UN’s $482 million appeal to cover cyclone relief and recovery up to April 2009 remains unfunded.

Burma is categorized as a ‘Country of Particular Concern’ by the United States State Department for its apparent violations of religious freedom.

In 2007, CSW published a report, 'Carrying the Cross: The military regime’s campaign of restriction, discrimination and persecution against Christians in Burma' which revealed a 17-point document allegedly from an organization affiliated to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, titled "Program to Destroy the Christian religion in Burma". The first point states: “There shall be no home where the Christian religion is practiced.”


Burma's ruling State Peace and Development Council, a group of generals, has consistently denied human rights abuses, describing reports to the contrary as "Western propaganda" and part of "American imperialism."

However CSW Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert, told Worthy News that the "recent crackdown on Christian activity in Rangoon is a worrying development and a serious violation of religious freedom."

Lambert said she was "delighted that John Bercow and other for respect for religious freedom in Burma, and for the regime to stop its policies of discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians and Muslims."

CSW also welcomes their call to U.N. Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Asma Jahangir, to investigate and "hold Burma’s military regime accountable for their many human rights abuses".

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1 thought on “British Legislators Condemn "Massive Church Closures" In Burma”

  1. Praying!



    "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

    Is Of The LORD

    "And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
    "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

    His Kingdom Come

    "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

    His Will Be Done

    "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." Philippians 2:13


    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

    Praise His Holy Name

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