Burmese assistant pastors freed from prison

YANGON, Burma — After spending more than a year in prison, two assistant pastors arrested by the Burma (Myanmar) army were freed April 17 under a government amnesty program.

Dom Dawng Nawng Latt, 65, and La Jaw Gam Hseng, 35, were among more than 8,500 prisoners granted amnesty by newly elected President U Win Myint, sources said. The pastors had been arrested and sentenced for alleged connections to an ethnic independence organization. Area sources, however, said they were likely arrested and charged for speaking to media and helping local journalists cover the bombing of a Catholic church building, a house and schools in Shan state in November 2016. The pastors were arrested Dec. 24, 2016.

Burma is about 80 percent Buddhist and 9 percent Christian. It is ranked 24th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. (MS)