Three pastors from Kachin state, Myanmar, have been arrested for organising prayers for peace.
The chairman of the Rawang Literature and Culture Committee (RLCC)
brought a lawsuit against them for conducting an inter-denominational
prayer service in Naungmoon township of Putao district on 3 March.
Pastor Koshan Singsar, Pastor Z Kaw Htinah and Pastor M Hawng Di were
arrested on 28 June. Under the penal code they face a possible three
years’ imprisonment on charges of incitement to cause fear, spreading
false news and agitating for criminal offences against government
The RLCC chairman, Marip Yaw Shu, is a member of both the
military regime’s administrative body in Putao and the military-linked
Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). He acquired approval from
the Putao military authorities to charge the three Christian leaders on
The pastors were detained in Naungmoon township ahead of a court
hearing scheduled for 12 July. The Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) has
called for prayers for the immediate release of the pastors.
Serious concerns have been raised about the pastors’ health.
Pastor Hawng Di, in his 70s, has high blood pressure and suffers from
stomach problems. A Putao resident expressed the fear that his condition
might deteriorate, “It is difficult for him to move. As he is in
prison, his stomach problems might get worse because of the prison
food.” Another pastor is recovering from a stroke.