Hundreds of minority Christians in Myanmar are being forced to sign papers vowing to limit their faith and not pray in churches, pastors have warned.
A church leader identified as the Rev. Lazarus, general secretary of the Lahu Baptist Convention in Kyaing Tong, eastern Shan State, told UCA News on Wednesday that close to 100 Wa Christians were released by the United Wa State Army after they agreed to the orders.
Christians who signed the pledges are now mandated to only pray privately in their homes and not in churches.
Lazarus added that 92 ethnic-Lahu Christians remain in captivity, however, while dozens of churches have been shut down. He warned that the believers are faced with no choice but to sign the papers.
“Christians will face more restrictions and be closely monitored by the United Wa State Army, so the situation is worrisome,” he said.
The Rev. Thang Cin Lian, general secretary of the Myanmar Baptist Convention, said that meetings are being held discussing the faith of the 92 captive believers.
“We are praying for the Christians in the Wa Hills,” Lian said.
The UWSA, which grew out of the Communist Party of Burma, expelled five Catholic nuns and six lay teachers in September, and has been destroying what it claims are unauthorized churches in the region.
“We want stability and rule of law in our area, so extremists may be arrested. Such measures are necessary, as we are preparing to celebrate the 30th Peace Festival on April 17 next year and no extremism is allowed,” said U Nyi Rang, the militia’s spokesperson.
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Source: Christian Post