Baptist pastor re-arrested the night he’s released from prison

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To mark the Buddhist New Year festival of Thingyan, officials in Myanmar released 3,300

Rev. Samson and his wife

people from prison. Authorities re-arrested one of them, a Baptist pastor, later that night.

The pastor, The Rev. Hkalam Samson, is a well-known and respected church leader and former chair of the Kachin Baptist Convention. He is also an outspoken advocate and defender of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar. The U.S. Department of State has called for his release 

Samson was released in the afternoon on April 17. At 10 p.m. that night, security officials detained him at his home. The reverend, who was originally detained on false charges of unlawful association, inciting opposition to the regime, and terrorism, was sentenced in April 2023 to six years in prison. Originally detained in December 2022, Samson had served 16 months of his sentence at the time of his release.

After being welcomed by friends and family the afternoon of his release, a relative who spoke on the condition of anonymity shared that authorities took Samson, his wife Zung Nyaw, and a member of the Kachin-based Peace-talk Creation Group to Myitkyina prison, where Samson had previously served time, claiming it was for their safety. 

About 6 percent of Myanmar’s 54 million people are Christian. However, Kachin state, the country’s northernmost state that borders China and India, has a significant Christian population that is frequently harassed and persecuted. About 35% of the state’s 1.7 million people are Christians.  

Pray for Rev. Samson, his wife, and the other believer to be released from prison soon. — International Christian Concern