Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police break up Christian meeting

Ethnic Jarai Christians gather for a monthly meeting at a residence in Ratanakkiri province earlier this  week before the meeting was shut down by authorities. Adhoc
Ethnic Jarai Christians gather for a monthly meeting at a residence in Ratanakkiri province earlier this week before the meeting was shut down by authorities. Adhoc

Police break up Christian meeting

Bakeo district police officers broke up a gathering of 50 Christians in Ratanakkiri province on Wednesday because they had not sought permission from authorities to meet.

The ethic Jarai Christians hold regular and rotating monthly meetings in O’Yadav, Andong Meas and Bakeo districts to pray, discuss their faith and eat, and said they never had to ask for permission before.

But two police officials intervened and disbanded their latest meeting in Touch village, according to attendees and rights group Adhoc.

“They said this month that the government banned the gathering,” said preacher Sal Plon, 42. “It is a deprivation of our religious rights. They are biased and discriminating against Christianity.”

He said the government usually supports Buddhism, with its adherents free to meet weekly without problems.

One member of the Christian group who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said he was disappointed and concerned.

“We do not gather about politics. We do not do anything that affects the government,” he said.

Bakeo district governor Heng Bunny said the police took correct measures to maintain security, especially as people from other districts were gathering.

“What if they lay the bomb and the bomb explodes and kills people? It was right for the police to ban it; do not blame them,” Bunny said.

Chhay Thy, Ratanakkiri provincial coordinator for Adhoc, suggested recent political tension – in the wake of Black Monday protests – was motivating the local authorities to broadly restrict the freedom to gather. Now, he said, authorities are increasingly requiring permission in advance.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Setting up a drone for flight. Photo supplied

How Cambodia's first drone company is helping farmers

SM Waypoint claims its unmanned aerial vehicles can help local farm and plantation owners increase their yields. Established in September 2015, SM Waypoint now has seven drone pilots, two sales staff and two accountants. Though the company focuses mainly on agricultural projects, the potential uses of the drones are extremely varied, going from measuring exact land height for building drainage systems to finding the most suitable location for special economic zones (SEZs) or factories.

New street food dish shakes things up at Russian Market

Though the bustling food stalls that emerge after dark next to Phnom Penh's Russian Market can seem intimidating to tourists at first glance, there are street food treats to be enjoyed by all, from Kep crab to a new shrimp dish created by the market's owners.

Turkish Embassy calls for closure of Zaman schools

With an attempted coup against the government of President Recep Erdogan quashed only days ago and more than 7,000 alleged conspirators now under arrest, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia yesterday pressed the govern