» 01/29/2015, 00.00
Francis Khoo Thwe
Chin Christians ready to go to jail to stop cross removal
Built by members of the Christian community in Hakha, the 16-metre cross targeted by local authorities stands on a hill that overlooks the state capital. Since it lacked the proper permit, the authorities ordered the cross' removal and said that they would prosecute its builders. "If the authorities say I have to go to jail, I am not afraid; I am ready to go to jail for this case," a Chin Christian said. For human rights activists, such an action "continues a decades-long pattern of religious discrimination against Chin Christians."
Kachin Christians forced to pay tax for Buddhist holiday
The festival of Thingyan marks the start of the Burmese New Year with water games and activities related to water. Military junta officials imposed a “fixed tax” and go house to house to enforce it. Military rulers claim to be good Buddhists and discriminate against religious minorities.
Jakarta can stop discrimination but is unwilling to do so
The central government could reverse local regulations but instead turns a blind eye. According to the Setara Institute, Indonesia has 57 laws that affect minority rights. For Human Rights Commission official, “Local authorities are the worst violators of religious freedom”. This “shows the weakness of the central government”.
Archbishop on secret visit to Bhutan’s Christians, first in 18 years
Bhutan’s Christian community is growing, but authorities have forbidden all forms of proselytism, will not allow the building of churches and the public in celebration of masst. Msgr. Menamparampi, Archbishop of Guwahati (India), speaks to AsiaNews about the lives of the small Bhutanese Christian communities, many of which are never visited by a prelate. Comparing them with the first community of Acts of the Apostles, the Archbishop describes the zeal and courage of these faithful, largely Protestant, witnesses of Christ, despite government abuses and restrictions.
Myanmar's prisons running out of medicines
Human rights activists and the families of political prisoners have made the allegations. Myanmar's military junta has not allowed the Red Cross to visit the country's prisons for four months.
Myanmar forces Red Cross to close 5 centres
The centres used to deliver humanitarian aid to members of ethnic minorities. Already banned from visiting political prisoners, the agency's work in the country has been terminated by this latest move of the junta.
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