by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A Christian pastor in Myanmar died during a brutal interrogation by the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) earlier this month, Myanmar Now reports. Following the February 1 military coup, the Tatmadaw is trying to violently impose Buddhism on the whole of Myanmar; Christians currently make up around 8.2 percent of the country’s population.
Pastor Salai Ngwe Kyar from Sidoktaya Township died after being arrested and interrogated on suspicion of having links to the People’s Defence Force, Myanmar Now reports. The 26-year old pastor was traveling from his village on December 6 when he was arrested and taken to the No. 20 Defence Equipment Industry factory for interrogation. The young man’s family were told the next day that he had died.
In a statement to Myanmar Now, an officer from the anti-junta Magway People’s Revolution Committee said (on condition of anonymity for security reasons): “I think the [military] interrogation methods there are much more brutal than those at the police station.”
“I think they were forced to send him to the Magway General Hospital when they took the interrogations too far and the township hospital could no longer treat his injuries.” the officer added.
Myanmar ranks 18 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted. “Religious nationalism is especially strong in Myanmar and drives much of the persecution of Christians,” Open Doors explains on its website. “There is an increasing emphasis on Buddhism, to the exclusion of all other religions.”
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