Officials in Burma ordered a Baptist church to cease holding worship services after the pastor refused to wear an election campaign t-shirt supporting the military government’s Union Solidarity and Development Party.
The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) reported Wednesday that the election commission summoned 47-year-old Pastor Mang Tling of Dawdin village, Gangaw township, Mergui division on November 9, two days after the election and ordered him to stop holding services and discontinue the church nursery program.
Pastor Mang had received a t-shirt from his village leader. When he refused to wear it, the leader filed a report with local authorities accusing the pastor of persuading Christian voters to vote in favour of an opposing party.
Compass Direct News reports that, under Burmese law, religious leaders can be penalized for “engaging in politics,” which gave the pastor a solid legal reason to decline the t-shirt. The law also bans leaders of religious groups from voting in national elections, according to the CHRO, although lay members of those groups are able to vote.
Officials interrogated Pastor Mang in Gangaw until Sunday, November 14, when he was allowed to return home.
Pray government tactics would not intimidate that Burmese Christians and that they would continue to seek Christ and share Him with those around them.
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