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Catholic World News

Myanmar: government orders removal of 'illegal' cross

January 29, 2015

Christians in Myanmar are distressed by the prosecution of a man who erected a 50-foot cross on a hill in the city of Hakha, the Fides news service reports.

Tial Cem could face two years in prison if convicted of illegally building the cross. His supporters reply that he did not seek a building permit because he knew it would not be granted. Public officials plan to remove the cross.

Christians in Myanmar—and particularly members of the Chin ethnic minority, including Tial Cem—complain that the government of Myanmar makes it “virtually impossible to get permits for non-Buddhist buildings and religious monuments.” They argue that if Myanmar is to make progress toward democracy, the needed reforms must include recognition of religious freedom.

 
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