Christian Pastor Beaten Up In Arakan’s Minpya Township
05 October 2010 – Chinland Guardian: Chin Christian Pastor Tun Hlaing was beaten up by a team of local authority in Chaungtaw village of Arakan State while he was conducting a worship service at Ho-Chin Baptist Church on 19 September 2010.
The local authority led by U Maung Kyaw Aung with three other members came directly to the church while the Chin pastor, 37, was leading a Sunday worship service.
“U Maung Kyaw Aung called Pastor Tun Hlaing out of the church building and insulted while the church members were also being threatened and shouted at aggressively by the local authorities,” said one local witness.
“The Chin pastor was punched on his chest and face, kicked on his legs and sides, and beaten with bamboo sticks on his head and back.”
Pastor Tun Hlaing got bruises on his face and suffered from injuries on his body after the Ho-Chin church members came out from the church building to rescue him from the hands of the authority.
One church member said: “The children were crying and women were screaming. They were so scared of what had happened to them.”
“The Sunday Worship Service was forced to break up as the pastor was badly injured and no longer able to continue his preaching. The believers felt very sorry for the persecution, harassment and disturbance made by U Maung Kyaw Aung and his three followers,” said another local witness.
Until today, the church as well as the villagers haven’t known the reasons why the incident took place. It is believed that the incident was well-planned by the local authority.
Pastor Tun Hlaing, originally from Southern Chin State and working as a Baptist missionary in Arakan State, is said to have no history of personal misunderstanding with the local authority before.
The Chin pastor is known to have filed the case to Religious Affairs District Court in Sittway, the capital city of Rakhine State. After having appeared on court, Pastor Tun Hlaing is waiting for the decisions from the judge.
Established in 2008, the Ho-Chin Baptist Church has now got about 30 household believers in Chaungtaw village, about 23 miles away from Minpya town of Arakan State in Burma.