Churches, priests and Christian missionaries working in Wa, a mountainous region in the eastern state of Shan, are victims of the repression of Myanmar’s largest rebel army, the United Wa State Army (UWSA). It is the armed wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP), the state’s China-aligned political wing.
On September 9 more than 200 Christian pastors, deacons and elders were arrested, along with 41 Bible students.
Our contact in Myanmar recently visited the state and reports the following:
More than 60 Churches in the WA State have been closed. Three Churches have been burnt down and several pastor’s houses have been destroyed by JCB (machinery).
Bibles from churches and Christian houses were confiscated and burned. The rule now is, that if the WA government sees a person in possession of a Bible he/she will be arrested and imprisoned for at least three years.
The 41 Bible Students that were arrested in September were forced to join the Wa army. No one knows exactly where they are.
The 200 plus Christians, who were arrested and imprisoned, were forced to sign a declaration, in front of the WA government and under threat of death, for their release.
The declaration included:
- I no longer believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour
- I will not preach about Christ
- I will not lead a church
- I will not worship in a church building or in a house church.
- If I do preach, worship and believe in Jesus, I will be fined, and sentenced to five years in prison.
More than 200 signed the declaration and were released. Nine pastors did not sign, saying they will never sign a declaration stating that they will no longer believe in Jesus. They are still in prison.
Sources Asia Times, Voice of the Martyrs
- Please pray that the nine pastors will be released, without having to deny their faith.
- Pray for the pastors’ families and churches
- Please pray that all closed churches will be again be open and that rebuilding of the destroyed churches and houses can begin.
- Pray for religious freedom in WA State.