Ministry News World

Myanmar – churches unable to stream on Facebook due to military ban

 

Myanmar churches who are reliant on Facebook to stream gets affected by military ban.

The military in Myanmar has blocked access to Facebook in a bid to ‘prevent spreading false information that provokes misconceptions that could destabilise the country and harm the public good’. The move incited concerns over the effect that a long-term ban will have on the church.

As protests and discord rise in response to the political turbulence, Christians in the country are facing the challenge of how best to respond. This comes after a military coup on Monday 01 February 2021 when the “Civil Disobedience Movement” group appeared on the platform and gained 150,000 followers overnight. It led to a flashlight protest by supporters of the National League of Democracy (NLD), the group led by detained figurehead Aung San Suu Kyi.

 

Totalitarian regimes have been seen blocking access to information before. It has happened for decades in North Korea and China. But after the progress the nation seems to have made towards gaining greater freedoms, it’s disturbing that it is happening in Myanmar at this time. The military is back in power after decades of military rule that ended in 2011. With extremist monks often enjoying the support of the army, Buddhism’s place in Myanmar could strengthen which could result in a worsening persecution against Christians.

The ban is expected to last until 7 February 2021, but there are fears that it could last longer and this could have a huge impact on churches reliant on the platform to stream services.

 

Shekinah Salanje.

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