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Burma: A Buddhist monk building statue of Buddha inside a church compound



A Buddhist monk builds a statue of Buddha, inside a church compound in Burma.

According to details, a Buddhist monk has initiated erecting a statue of Buddha inside a church compound. This is a Baptist church in Hpa-An. The local Christians have become infuriated over the construction of this structure. In the wake of this development, the local Christian leaders and Christian community hailing from the Myanmar Baptist Convention have strongly criticized the actions of the monk and have urged him to stop the progress of the building the statue all at once.

In this regard, a Christian woman, Nang Khin Htwe Myint while protesting over the controversial building inside a church said, “The stupa and pagoda are almost finished; the monk didn’t listen the Christian community. It is completely inappropriate to build a Buddhist religious project on Christian land. He used his influential status and built the project. He ignored concerns and calls from local Christians to halt the project.”

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Hpa-An is the capital of Karen state of Burma, where Christian community is strongly protesting against this scheming of the Buddhist monk. It has been reported that, the Buddhist monk started the construction in August, earlier this year. Myaing Kyee Ngu Sayadaw, is the Buddhist monk who is also the founder of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), who has initiated the building of this statue of Buddha inside the church compound.

While, it has been learnt that the local Buddhist community is not in favour of building this statue inside the church. Moreover, ever since the construction of the statue has started, Christian congregants of the church have not been able to worship in the church. A Christian leader from the same church revealed that the Buddhist monks recite their religious verses over loudspeakers. The church leader told that he requested the monks to lower their volume just once a week while a prayer service is going on inside the church; but they refused.

This controversial construction project was reported to the Religious Affairs Minister of Burma, Soe Win. He promised the local Christian community to get the dispute settled. However, despite his promise, no progress has been made to bar the Buddhist monk from completing the statue in the church compound.