Myanmar: Buddhist neighbors get pre-Christmas prayers banned

Myanmar, Buddhists, Christmas, Islam, Muslims, religious conflict, Burmese Christians, Pope Francis

Magway region of Myanmar will not see the pre-Christmas celebrations after the Buddhist neighbors complained to their local administrator about it.

Kan Thar village tract administrator Pyone Lwin sent a letter to resident Kyaw Myint on Dec. 9 saying: “I have decided to ban the pre-Christmas prayer that is scheduled to take place at the house of U Kyaw Myint and Daw Aye Khine after receiving a complaint from villagers who are worried the celebration could cause potential religious conflict in the village.”

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Myanmar, Buddhists, Christmas, Islam, Muslims, religious conflict
GS Mang furnished this note banning the prayer.

This is just after visiting Pope Francis was told by military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing that there is no religious discrimination in Myanmar.

The Muslims of the Kayin State are also required to report their travel plans to local administration offices before embarking on them as this was a way to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

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Interestingly, the Christian residents were to hold the pre-Christmas prayer in a home and not at a public place.

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Anjum James Paul, a minority leader from Pakistan, was shocked at this move and condemned it. In a statement to he said:

We condemn the Myanmar government for banning the services before Christmas. This is a violation of fundamental human rights regarding religious freedom that is guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It was not expected that after the visit of the Holy Father Pope Francis to Myanmar, Christians would be persecuted in this way. We demand that Aung San Suu Kyi starts working towards granting religious freedom immediately so that Christians may perform their religious practices freely and without any fear.

By: Namta Gupta