Christians and the Burmese Crackdown

This is an interview with a Burmese pastor from Christianity Today:

Here is one section, but read it all, Here:

Two ethnic groups—the Karen and the Chin—have historical ties to Christianity.

Pastor David, a Burmese church planter who has been working in Myanmar for the last few years, spoke with CT about the situation of Christians in the country

What's happening with the protests? Why was the sudden rise in oil prices the catalyst?

The government doubled the price on the morning of August the 15th without any prior notice to the public. So what happened is that there was a sudden raise in the price, buses and public transportation cannot operate. There is simply no public transportation, so people who need to go to work got stranded. There was a lot of chaos.

I was still in the country at that time and I knew at that moment that something was going to happen. Now before the raising of oil prices, there was a convention going on on the northern side of Rangoon. And there was already quite an atmosphere in the country: There were officials going about, raiding churches.

In fact, the Bible school that I have the privilege of directing—we had to shut it down on the last week of September with all this going on.

In the midst of that, they doubled the [oil] prices, and that really sparked the fire. And that's when people said, "we can't stand this anymore," and they began to rally. And at first it was a very small rally. It wasn't getting any international attention. It was only when the Buddhist monks began to come out and began to rally that the international community began to focus their attention on Burma.


Would they be targeted because they're Christians?

Christians usually don't have the same protection that a monk would have, simply because we are Christian and they are Buddhist. But for the monks who rally and demonstrate, there is still the moral respect that they have. There is a tradition that grants them some protections, and they enjoyed that in the midst of their rally. But we as Christians, who are seen as secondary citizens, do not have that [protection]. [...]


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