Buddhist monks in Myanmar pushing Christians out of their own Church

Buddhist monks in Myanmar are building a pagoda on a property owned by an Anglican Church as part of an effort to methodically push Christians out of their own Church, according to Morning Star News.

(Reuters/Stringer)A man walks near a Buddhist pagoda that was badly damaged by an earthquake in the village of Ma Lar at Kyauk Myaung township, November 11, 2012.

On Monday, Buddhist monk U Thuzana (Myaing Kee Ngu Sayadaw), urged his supporters to erect a pagoda on a Christian Church property in the southeastern state of Karen. This would be the third time in the country that a Buddhist temple would be built on land owned by a Church, Christian Today relays.

Last year, Sayadaw and his followers built two other Buddhist pagodas on the property of a Church in Hlaingbwe and in a Baptist compound in Pa-an, Karen. Bishop Saw Stylo of St. Mark Anglican Church thinks the Buddhist monk's motivation in the campaign is a dream to build pagodas on land where they were believed to have existed 2,000 years back, Christian News details.

Stylo added that Sayadaw usually accomplishes his dreams to build pagodas anywhere. Because all the places he targeted are Church properties, the bishop said they are praying that the powerful monk will stop dreaming of building pagodas on Christian land.

Despite the powerful Buddhist monks' provocative move, Christian leaders in Myanmar are trying to endure the situation to avoid triggering a religious conflict. Bishop Stylo said they do not want to disrupt the peace in their region because the new democratic government is currently working on national reconciliation. Thus, they have given way to the construction of the Buddhist pagoda in the Church property.

"The new democratic government that came into power is trying for national reconciliation and ending armed conflict," Stylo told Morning Star in an interview. "If we ignite [religious dispute] while the country is moving forward to a new chapter of the journey, it is likely that we will pass down a bad inheritance to our next generations. We don't want to pass down this kind of inheritance, so we don't respond," he added.

In addition, Stylo explained that they are following God's example of forgiveness by not reacting negatively to the Buddhist campaign.