Myanmar charges preacher for defying virus ban on services

(Reuters) - A Myanmar preacher who posted a sermon online saying Christians were immune to the coronavirus will face charges along with three other people for organising services in defiance of a ban on mass gatherings, local authorities said on Wednesday.

Reuters April 16, 2020 00:13:04 IST
Myanmar charges preacher for defying virus ban on services

Myanmar charges preacher for defying virus ban on services

(Reuters) - A Myanmar preacher who posted a sermon online saying Christians were immune to the coronavirus will face charges along with three other people for organising services in defiance of a ban on mass gatherings, local authorities said on Wednesday.

The ban took effect on March 13 and the Yangon Region COVID-19 Control and Emergency Response Committee said in a statement that David Lah and two other pastors had held services after that in Yangon and would be charged alongside one member of the congregation.

David Lah could not be reached for comment.

Ye Win Aung, the local government administrator for Yangon's Mayangone township, said he had been instructed by the committee to file the charges. The disaster management law under which charges have been filed could lead to a three-year jail term.

About 20 people connected to gatherings in early April later tested positive for the virus, Ye Win Aung said, and those included David Lah.

Reuters was unable to confirm this independently and a Health Ministry spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.

Police in Yangon confirmed that charges had been filed against four people for holding religious gatherings at two police stations in the city.

Christian and Muslim religious events elsewhere in the world have been triggers for the spread of the virus that has infected nearly 2 million people and killed nearly 130,000 worldwide.

Myanmar, which has reported 74 cases of the virus and four deaths, is a Buddhist-majority nation but Christians comprise about 6% of the population.

In a sermon posted online in late March, David Lah had told followers: "If you hear the sermon of God, the virus will never come to you, I declare it with the soul of Jesus Christ."

(Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations
World

Greek police clash with protesters in rally against mandatory vaccinations

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police used teargas and water cannon to disperse people who had gathered in central Athens on Saturday to protest against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. More than 4,000 people rallied outside the Greek parliament for a third time this month to oppose mandatory inoculations for some workers, such as healthcare and nursing staff.

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria
World

Two Turkish soldiers killed in attack in northern Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Two Turkish soldiers were killed and two were wounded in an attack on their armoured vehicle in northern Syria, and Turkish forces immediately launched retaliatory fire, Turkey's defence ministry said on Saturday. "Our punitive fire against terrorist positions is continuing," the statement on Twitter on said. It did not specify where the attack occurred, but media reports said it was in the al-Bab area.

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment
World

Brazilians take to streets again to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment

By Marcelo Rochabrun SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic. This week, news broke that Brazil's defense ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote. Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied