07/01/2020 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On June 27, 1819, U Naw became the first reported Christian to be baptized in Myanmar (previously named Burma during that time). U Naw was a local fisherman when he first heard about the American Christian missionary, Adoniram Judson. Because of Judson’s friendship and continued journey of faith, U Naw eventually left Buddhism to become a believer in Christ.
Because of his conversion, U Naw could no longer live under the pressure of his Buddhist community, including his wife. The Judson family welcomed him, and shortly after that, he was baptized in June at the Butterfly Lake inside the Cantonment Garden. When two more converts were baptized, the authorities became alerted.
U Naw left Yangon and disappeared due to harassment and died during the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826). He is memorialized and remembered by the Baptist Church in Yangon’s Lanmadaw Township. The church in remembrance of him, U Naw Memorial Baptist Church is one of the oldest churches in Myanmar.
According to the Irrawaddy Magazine, June 27 is designated as U Naw Day and is celebrated annually with prayer meetings.
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