Vision Logo Circle

US Calls For Release Of Jailed Bishop As Myanmar’s Military Targets Christians

by | Thu, Mar 9 2023

Text size: A- A+

The US government is calling for the immediate release of a jailed Baptist bishop in Myanmar.

Reverend Hkalam Samson was arrested by government troops three months ago.

The advisor to the Kachin Baptist Convention was charged with meeting members of an ethnic armed group and holding a prayer meeting.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US condemned the arrest and detention of the prominent Christian leader.

He added that Washington was extremely concerned for the bishop’s well-being and safety.

Mr. Price praised Reverend Samson’s “incredible work advocating for religious freedom, justice, peace, and accountability. He should be celebrated and replicated, not condemned.”

“We additionally urge the regime to cease its unconscionable repression against religious actors and communities in Burma and end the violence,” he added.

The Christian Post reports the US exhorted its allies to call on the ruling junta to drop all charges against Reverend Samson and “facilitate his immediate and unconditional release.”

The conflict between Myanmar’s rulers and ethnic minority militias has escalated since the military coup of two years ago.

Last June, multiple reports, including by the United Nations, revealed that the junta had disproportionately targeted religious minorities, including Christians, and brutally attacked and killed hundreds of children since the military coup.

It’s estimated the junta has killed more than 3,000 people and arrested nearly 20,000 others according to The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Christians comprise just over 7% of the majority-Buddhist nation but are a majority in Chin State which borders India, and Kachin State which borders China.

Christians also make up a substantial part of the population of Kayah State which borders Thailand.