Christian Home Stoned, Vandalized During Christmas Prayer in Magwe

By Kaung Myat Min 20 December 2018

GANGAW, Magwe Region — Police in Magwe Region’s Gangaw Township have received a criminal complaint against residents of Paw Lel Village accused of a violent Monday night attack on a house where local Christians were praying.

“They have opened a case under Article 337 and Article 427 of the Penal Code. The first charge is causing harm and the second is causing damage to property,” Gangaw police Lieutenant Soe Nyunt Aung told The Irrawaddy.

More than 20 local Christians were holding an early Christmas prayer at a private home when stones started hitting the house for about an hour, according to the township’s Baptist Christian Association. It said a group of men then broke into the house and vandalized it.

“While we were saying prayers, [they] threw stones at all sides of the house. Six people were injured. One of them was seriously injured on his head,” said Rev. San Kew, who was in the house during the attack.

He said motorbikes, furniture and the dishes and plates to be used for dinner were damaged.

“We didn’t see who damaged the property. We were all hiding in a room because we were frightened,” the reverend said.

He said only four of Paw Lel’s 52 households were Christian and that the owner of the house that as attacked, Wa Dawns, filed the complaint with police against about 30 villagers.

U Tin Myat, administrator of the Min Ywa village tract, said police and firefighters have been posted at the house for the family’s protection.

“The two communities are rather relaxed, though. We conducted a patrol at night,” he said on Wednesday.

U Aung Hsan Myint, a Magwe Region lawmaker, said the assailants must be brought to justice.

“You cannot oppose others celebrating their religious event. Action must be taken against perpetrators according to the law,” he said.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.