Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Burma may move to abolish Christianity – Gary Lane

January 29: Rangoon: There are new concerns in Burma that the government is trying to destroy Christianity.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that an internal government document lays the foundation for eradicating the faith, including arresting anyone caught evangelizing.

This kind of persecution has been going for years in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
In 2005, CBN News met with Christians in Burma. These Burmese Christians sang praise songs; they worshiped openly and freely in a government-approved church in Rangoon.

But most Burmese Christians don’t share their freedom. Government officials have shut down churches in this capital city and have disallowed the construction of new church buildings. The number of bibles allowed for import is limited and in-country printing of bibles and Christian literature is restricted.
Public evangelism is prohibited in Burma, but that hasn’t stopped this group of young Christians from sharing the gospel. Among them is a man we call David. His name has been changed to protect him from possible persecution.

David told CBN news he and several other team members recently visited a Buddhist village of 2,000 families. They were attacked when a crowd gathered to listen to praise songs the evangelists were singing.
“Some Buddhist monks came and started shouting, ‘don’t worship God here – he has nothing to do with us,’” David said. “They said we were trying to establish Christianity in the village and they did not want it. The monks and others threw stones at us. They hit us like a hard rain. Some of us were hit in the cheek, the neck and the forehead.”

Despite David’s experience, evangelists say many Burmese are open to the gospel. In 2005, 83 percent of the Burmese people said they were Buddhist – about nine percent were Christian. The church is growing here among Protestants and independents at a rate of about five percent each year.

David said he would like to return to the village where he and the other young Christians were attacked with stones. He says he will press on despite the risk of hostile crowds or government arrest. “It is dangerous, but God gives us strength deep inside and boldness to move forward,” he said.

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