Churches Closed Down In Irrawaddy Division
18 April 2010: Two churches founded by a Chin pastor in Nargis-hit villages of Labutta Township, Irrawaddy Division have been shut down by SPDC local authorities last week.
The local authorities last Saturday issued an order to stop holding worship services, and on Sunday closed down the makeshift churches in Gondoh and Padokegone villages, which were constructed by local villagers and pastors.
“We build temporary temple buildings by ourselves and they are almost finished. But the local authority stopped us and took the building materials and closed them. They warned us not to gather together even on Sunday. Please remember us in your prayers,” the Dai-Chin pastor from Mindat Township, who asks not to be named for security reasons.
The churches, with a total of about 180 members, were founded in 2008 just after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities. The Labutta Township alone was reported to have 80,000 dead with thousands left homeless.
The SPDC local authorities also shut down childcare centres being run by the churches that look after homeless children orphaned by the cyclone.
Van Biak Thang