Christian Religious Building Ordered to Stop Construction
13 February 2011: Local authorities in southern Chin State’s Matupi Town have ordered to stop the construction of a memorial hall being built in honor of a local Christian leader, the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) has reported.
The Christian Reformed Church (CRC) obtained permission to construct a two-storied memorial hall in honor of the wife of Rev. Chan Hleng, the Church’s founder, on April 6, 1999.
However, local authorities have now ordered the construction to discontinue on the basis that the hall might be used as a place of worship. According to one senior member of the Church, the order was issued by Matupi Township Administrative Chief U Chan Nyein Aung.
Non-Buddhist religious groups, including Christians have not been given permission to construct new churches or renovate existing churches in Burma since the 1990s.
Last month, the delegation representing Burma’s military junta at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva claimed that religious minority groups enjoy freedoms, including the right to freely construct and renovate church and other religious buildings.
On 24 July 2010, the regime ordered the destruction of a 23-foot tall Christian cross in Mindat, saying that its construction was illegal, although local Christians said they obtained official permission.