SPDC Authorities Shut Down Chin Church In Rangoon
The local authorities in North Dagon Township, Rangoon closed down the Dai Christian Fellowship Church last Sunday, 19 April while the church pastor was attending an International Brethren Conference in Malaysia.
SPDC’s local authorities came to the church in the evening and ordered not to do any worship services again, according to one of the church leaders, who added: “This is the only church service that the Dai people in Rangoon have and it is becoming a rendezvous for all of us. Unfortunately, the church has been closed down and every church member feels really sad so we need your special fervent prayer for help.”
One of the church leaders, who asks not to be named for security reasons, said the DCF church, which has got about 70 regular church-goers, was ordered to close and stop holding church services without giving any reasons by three local authority officers.
An orphanage ‘Victoria Childcare Home’ with about 15 children being looked after by the Dai Christian Fellowship (DCF) was also included in the recent closure. Other churches based in Ward 46 of North Dagon were said to have been locked on the same day but the number has not yet been known.
UK-based Dai-Chin pastor, Rev. Shwekey Hoipang, who co-founded the church in late 2007, told Chinland Guardian: “The Military Regime makes a series of raids to close down the churches, Bible colleges and orphanages in Rangoon in April 2009. It is clear that the Military Regime’s strategy is to destroy the Christian activities one by one and one place to another discretely. It is an ongoing plan of the Military Regime to wipe out the Christian in Burma.”
It is estimated that more than 200 Dai people, one of the Chin tribes from Southern Chin State, live in Rangoon, former capital of Burma.
Since December 2008, more than 100 churches in Rangoon’s South Dagon and Pabedan townships have been shut down, about 50 pastors forced to sign the documents promising to stop holding church services, and 80 per cent of churches in Rangoon affected, according to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) early this year.
Burma’s military regime has been condemned by international communities and Chin Christians across the world for its brutal yet escalating crackdowns on Christian activities in the country.
Van Biak Thang
26 April, 2009