Sunday, January 11, 2009

Burma Orders Christians and Muslims To End Worship Services In Private Apartments

In the heavily Buddhist country of Burma, both Christians and Muslims were ordered last week to stop holding religious services in residential apartments. Mizzima reported on Wednesday that in Rangoon, the Kyauktada Township Peace and Development Council held a meeting with nearly 50 church leaders last Monday to deliver their demand. The use of apartments for services has grown since authorities stopped issuing permits in the 1990's for churches to buy lands and construct buildings. According to a subsequent report by Mizzima, Muslim leaders were separately summoned by authorities on Monday and similarly ordered to stop holding worship services in private apartments. The unavailability of government permits to build mosques has led to use of private venues for worship.