Christian Pastor Arrested For Honest Demand
14 January 2010: A Chin Christian pastor in Tonzang Township was arrested last month for simply asking for electricity to be provided in the town, a confirmed source told Chinland Guardian.
The Seventh-day Adventist pastor, along with the local people, was said to have written a letter to the military authorities in Naypyidaw, explaining the needs of electric power in Tonzang town of Chin State.
“They [the pastor and local people] just complain about the electric power to Naypyidaw and the pastor was arrested by the local authority and immediately sentenced with a one-year imprisonment in Indaing Lay Jail, Kalay Myo,” Dong, a pastor’s relative based in UK, told Chinland Guardian.
The Tedim-Chin pastor, whose name cannot be revealed due to security reasons, was released on 31 December 2009 after the local authority demanded and was given a staggering total of two million Kyats.
Chin people have been suffering from various measures of Christian persecution and religious repression for decades.
A recent report released in December 2009 by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said: “Access for foreign visitors to Chin State is, with some exceptions, prohibited, and Chin State is widely acknowledged to be the poorest part of the country. Education and health care are extremely limited and severely under-resourced, and electricity is scarce.”
“According to one Chin, the reason Chin State is denied resources and foreigners are denied access is specifically because the overwhelming majority of Chins are Christian. The SPDC has, it is believed, taken a deliberate decision to discriminate against Chin Christians.”
Van Biak Thang