Buddhist extremists harass Anglicans in Burma

The Burmese Buddhist monk who built a pagoda on the grounds of an Anglican church last month, has begun construction of a Buddhist monastery at the church, the Bishop of Hpa-an told Radio Free Asia last week. On 23 April 2016 an influential Buddhist monk, Myaingyikhu Sayadaw and about 500 followers built a pagoda on the grounds of St Mark’s Anglican Church in Kwan Taw village in Karen State. A week later he returned and built a second pagoda, or Buddhist shrine on the church grounds. The Rt. Rev. Saw Stylo, Bishop of the Diocese of Hpa-an urged Christians not to be drawn into conflict with the monk and his followers. In a letter to the church he urged them to “avoid confrontation and build peace and reconciliation.” Last week Bishop Saw said the monk and his followers have returned to the church with eight truckloads of bricks. The bishop noted the monk’s followers had built two more pagodas on the church grounds and over two dozen pagodas in the village. “I think he is trying to create difficulties for the new government,” Bishop Saw told RFA’s Myanmar service. The church would not confront the monk directly, the bishop said, but would seek government intervention to stop the encroachments and harassment.

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