Two Christian Crosses Demolished, Burnt Down in Chin State
21 September 2011: 15 local Chin Buddhist youths were ordered to destroy two Christian crosses planted near the newly completed suspension bridge on Mung (Hmolong) River in Kyindwe village, Kanpetlet Township, Chin State on 28 July 2011.
The Chin crosses erected on both sides of the bridge were reported to have been cut off and burnt down on the locations around 9pm at night under the direct order of six members of the authorities.
It is confirmed that the six members of authorities who gave the instruction for the demolition were a Buddhist monk from Kyindwe village; U Win Tin, Police Officer in charge of Kyindwe Police Force; two village headmen U Mya Phyu and U Aung Kyaw; U Chit Sein aka Thang Bu, a school teacher graduated from the University of the Development of National Races; and a local villager, Mg Mg aka Kyin Htwe.
Another source claimed that some local Chin Buddhists were not happy with the fact that the people were using the bridge to trade in villages of Magwe Division rather than other Chin villages nearby.
Some Kyindwe villagers were supposedly known to have suffered from economical impacts after the opening of the bridge as the villagers started using it for travelling to Magwe Division to sell local products, which were traded locally before.
The suspension cables of the Mung bridge were reported bearing iron saw-cut marks on both sides and it has not been used by the locals after the incident had happened and it was not safe for crossing any longer.
It was believed the cables were intentionally slashed in protest, according to the villagers.
Till to date, no action has been taken by the authorities against those responsible for the destruction of the Chin Christian crosses near the bridge, about 2 furlongs away from the village, Kyindwe.
On 30 September, the local Christian communities from Kanpetlet and Mindat townships are set to organise a concerted peaceful protest against the demolition of the two crosses.
Reporting by Jeremy Hoipang and Van Biak Thang