(April 27, 2023) Elizabeth Kendal, RLPB, updates prayer requests…
BURMA (Myanmar): Karen people flee
[RLPB 689 (12 April)]. After junta chief General Min Aung Hlaing labelled the resistance ‘terrorists’ with whom the junta would not negotiate, vowing instead to ‘annihilate them to an end.’
Within days of his speech, the Christian-led Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) had scored some significant victories, thereby triggering a massive military retaliation. By Easter Sunday 9 April some 10,000 civilians had fled Karen lands across the border into Thailand.
UZBEKISTAN: Baptist church raided
[RLPB 690 (19 April)]. Police raided the 9 April Easter Sunday worship service at the Baptist church in Qarshi, using batons and electric shock prods to incapacitate believers. Despite advancing transformative reforms, President Mirziyoyev – cognizant of the threat of Islamic terrorism and unrest – is reluctant to embrace religious freedom.
Consequently, the new religion law, passed in July 2021, retains many of the repressive elements of the Soviet era law, including mandatory registration, censorship of religious materials, restrictions on religious education, and a ban on ‘missionary activity and proselytism’ and ‘activities which offend the religious feelings of believers.’(more…)