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New fears of clampdown in Burma

ICC Note: Christian book publisher is threatened with imprisonment as the Burmese government continues to persecute Christians

6/14/07 Burma (Religious Intelligence) New fears of clampdown in Burma

–New claims of a clampdown on Christians in Burma ( Myanmar ) have been made, with a publisher of books on Christian theology threatened with 12 years’ imprisonment unless he desists.

Meanwhile other sources claim that the military regime there has begun to compile a list of known Christians, ranging from pastors and children’s homes to individual Christian families. It is believed that the list follows an official pronouncement that ‘to be Burmese is to be Buddhist’.

The persecution of Christians in Burma is not new: many Christian missions were expelled in 1966 and since then written permission has been necessary for any gathering of more than five people. Because of this many Christian groups there now operate ‘underground’.

The import of Burmese Bibles has been limited to 2,000 a year, claims Christian agency Release International. They report today that an unnamed Burmese publisher has now been warned to stop printing any more Christian books.

The man has indicated that he will defy the order, which follows an earlier restriction that demanded all religious titles be vetted by a government committee. Sources indicated that because of the demand from Burmese Christians, and the regime’s tendency in the past to burn Bibles, he would continue.

The man told Release International: “They tried to stop me to publish any Christian book. In the letter they say several times that if you publish more — any more — we’ll sentence you for 12 years. But I continue publishing whatever we can. And I am not afraid of any sentence or any action that they are going to take to me. I believe that God will take care of me.”