Myanmar: Two Baptist Pastors Reportedly Charged With 'Unlawful Association'

Myanmar's National League for Democracy party leader Aung San Suu Kyi looks at supporters after speaking about the general elections in Yangon, MyanmarReuters

Two Baptist pastors pastors in Myanmar have been charged with 'unlawful association' after trying to assist journalists investigating the bombing of a Catholic church.

Reports suggest the two, who had previously been identified as Catholic priests, were arrested on Christmas Eve and have now been charged with 'unlawful association with an armed ethnic group.'

Morning Star News says, Pastors Dom Dawng Nawng Latt, 65, and 35-year-old La Jaw Gam Hseng face at least three years in prison under one charge and at least five years on another.

The minority Christian population in the North of the country – which used to be known as Burma – has faced discrimination from the authorities for years. An uprising for independence for Kachin state began in 2011.

Christian Today recently reported that four Catholic Bishops had met with Myanmar's most influential political leader Ang San Suu Kyi to raise the issue of attacks on Christians.

Human Rights Watch says Christians in Myanmar are facing increasing difficulties. The organisation detailed attacks on Baptists and Catholics. It says, "For many years, Kachin and Shan civil society organizations have documented unlawful killings, torture, rape, forced labour and other abuses committed by Burmese military forces against civilians in Northern Shan and Kachin States."

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