Pastor Lah Faces Sixth Hearing for Breaking COVID Ban

06/24 /2020 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – David Lah and church member Wai Tun appeared before the Myanmar Township Court for their sixth hearing on June 18th. During this hearing, two witnesses took the stand: a medical doctor, and two musicians.

In March, the Myanmar Government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by imposing bans on large group gatherings. David Lah and other Christians violated this ban and is being charged under the Natural Disaster Management Law. Lah contracted the disease after boldly declaring devout Christians will not contract it. This comment is only one of the many controversial statements he was known to make.

In a featured article by International Christian Concern’s (ICC) representatives, “it was said that Lah’s church was shooting a live video for his followers in early April. Out of enthusiasm, many Christians showed up at the site. One of them turned out to be a COVID-19 carrier and infected four others, including Pastor Lah.”

Lah has appeared in court since June 3rd, and since that time, the deputy minister of Religious Affairs and Culture said they had opened eight cases over religious gatherings. Several Muslims and Buddhists have been sentenced to several months in prison or a fine of approximately $70. For David Lah, however, he could face up to three years of jail time.

The ministry also did not charge Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and his cabinet members, despite their attendance at a Buddhist religious event at the riverside Botahtaung Pagoda in Yangon on May 24. In the Buddhist majority country, as the religious minority groups, Christians and Muslims often face hostility and more scrutiny than their Buddhist fellow citizens.

Lah and three other men faced hearings on June 3rd, 8th, 10th, 16th, 18th, and 23rd. With Lah’s Canadian citizenship, he might be departed in the end.

For interviews, please contact Communications Coordinator, Olivia Miller: press@persecution.org.

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