At least 100 churches have been forced to stop holding services in Myanmar (Burma) after military officials made some 50 pastors sign documents promising to do so. They were told that if they did not comply, they would be jailed, reports MNN.
According to Gospel for Asia, Myanmar has been held under an oppressive military regime since 1962. Many believe that the recent violation of religious freedom was an attempt by the military regime to put a stop to Christianity altogether in the country.
Myanmar is 89 percent Buddhist, and the regime does not look lightly on conversions. Some Christians speculate that the military has been keeping a keen eye on them since they began relief work after the May 2008 cyclone, nervous that Christianity would spread as a result.
Most frightening about the recent moves to eliminate church services is the potential threat to personal worship. Most churches that have had to cease meeting are home churches, making Christians anxious that they may no longer be able to worship in their homes.
Gospel for Asia reported that all of the affected churches have been in the Yangon (Rangoon) area, and none of its churches have been directly affected by the deliberate infringements.
GFA missionaries, however, are certainly not left without concern. They ask for prayer that the Lord would change the hearts of political leaders in Myanmar for justice in regard to religious freedom. They also ask for prayers for wisdom and steadfastness for believers and missionaries in the region. Pray that the Lord would do a mighty work in Myanmar and that the church would continue to grow despite obstacles.
Report from the Christian Telegraph