US government calls for the release of an imprisoned Christian leader in Myanmar
On Thursday, February 23, the US government condemned the Myanmar military’s arrest and detention of Baptist leader Hkalam Samson.
Samson is the former head of the Kachin Baptist Convention, an organization located in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state that represents much of the nation’s Christian minority. He was detained in December 2022 by authorities under the military junta that seized power two years ago.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters recently, “We condemn the Burma military regime’s arrest and detention of prominent ethnic Kachin Christian leader Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson.”
Prominent NGO Human Rights Watch called on the military junta, which has controlled the country since the February 2021 coup, to drop the “politically motivated” charges against Samson. The charges included meeting members of an ethnic armed group under Myanmar’s Unlawful Associations Act and an indictment relating to a prayer meeting between Samson and members of Myanmar’s parallel civilian government.