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Fast and pray for peace

YANGON (SE): “Sincerely there is no happiness in many parts of this country,” the archbishop of Yangon, Charles Cardinal Bo, said of his land of the Union of Myanmar in his message for the beginning of 2017.

“War goes on in many parts. For more than 200,000 internally displaced people in the camps, there is NO Happy New Year,” he stated in a sad reflection on the state of the nation.

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Church bombed in Myanmar

LASHIO (UCAN): A Catholic church was bombed in the conflict-torn northern Shan State in the Union of Myanmar as renewed fighting between the military and armed ethnic groups intensified.

In an ironic twist, the church of St. Francis Xavier in Mongkoe Township near the Chinese border was hit by air strikes on December 3, the feast day of the patron of the parish.

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Call for a Church school comeback in Myanmar

YANGON (UCAN): Saying that in the heyday of the Christian school system during the 1950s, Burma had the best educated children in Asia, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, from Yangon, intends to make an appeal to the government to allow Churches to contribute once again to the revitalisation of the nation.

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Myanmar censures religious prejudice

MANDALAY (SE): The State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee of Myanmar, an official council of senior Buddhist monks, refused to validate what it regards as the renegade, trouble-fomenting Ma Ba Tha, which is variously translated as the Patriotic Association of Myanmar or Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, as a legitimate Buddhist organisation.

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Talk peace not balance of fear

MANDALAY (UCAN)  A reluctance or inability to pro-actively promote peace on behalf of the Church in the Union of Myanmar has lead Charles Cardinal Bo to say that he believes that the Church is letting the people down.

He said that religious leaders need to do more than just condemn violence or be content with a balance of fear.

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Moral power can overcome oppression

LIVERPOOL (CNS): Catholic people throughout the world truly do support those in even far-flung places who are suffering from oppression and other forms of persecution, the archbishop of Yangon in the Union of Myanmar, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, told a gathering in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool, the United Kingdom, on May 22.

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Bid to expel Muslims from their homes fails

Mandalay (UCAN): A Buddhist group in Myanmar’s religiously divided Rakhine state in the Union of Myanmar has failed in its bid to pressure local authorities to expel Muslims from Sittwe.

Soe Naing, from the Rakhine National Network, a civil society organisation based in Sittwe, said that a petition with around 400 signatures was sent to the state’s chief minister in mid-May demanding that Muslims be expelled from the city’s Aung Mingalar quarter.

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Critics blame logging for Myanmar floods

Mandalay (UCAN): Advocates and politicians from Myanmar’s predominantly Christian, Kachin State have blamed the destruction of hundreds of houses destroyed by floods and landslides in late April on environmental degradation caused by the logging industry.

Steven Tsa Ji, general secretary of Kachin Development Networking Group, said the recent disaster is the result of intensive logging and mining conducted by Chinese companies.

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Rohingya still a dirty word in Myanmar

Mandalay (UCAN): The Muslim minority in Rakhine, Myanmar, identify as themselves as Rohingya, a term that the country’s new civilian government, just like the previous military regime, refuses to acknowledge.

The government instead insists on referring to the Rohingyas as Bengalis, implying that they are, instead, illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. This is despite the fact that the Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for decades.

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Protests against inadequate rehousing

Mandalay (UCAN): Around 1,000 people, including Christian clergy, joined protests on January 5 and 6 in Hakha, the capital of Myanmar’s impoverished Chin state, by people angry at local government plans to re-house them in an area that lacks adequate roads and drainage.

Reverend Lai Cung, a protest leader from the Hakha Khuahlul Baptist Church. Said, “We are going to continue our protests if the local government doesn’t respond to our demands.” 

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