Action In Burma

A plan for the Burma Baptist Convention to take over duties previously handled by missionaries was approved by delegates to the 88th annual meeting in Rangoon.

Proposed by the missionaries themselves, the plan has a goal of making Baptist work in the country self-supporting, self-directing and self-propagating.

Main points of the agreement deal with the turning over of church properties on the mission field “to the appropriate holding bodies representing the indigenous Christian community,” assigning to the convention the responsibility of determining the number of missionaries needed in Burma, and giving the convention the major responsibility for financial needs.

Prime Minister U Ba Swe, in an address to the meeting, emphasized the guarantees of religious freedom in Burma.

‘Mistaken Policy’

A decree ordering full freedom of religion throughout Communist North Vietnam has been issued by the Council of Ministers.

The order reportedly corrects “a mistaken policy of the government in the past.”

North Vietnam is the first Asian Communist nation publicly to proclaim deviation from the Moscow line. It is also the first to admit the existence of anti-religious persecution within its boundaries.

From time to time, the Hanoi Radio has broadcast statements claiming that all religious groups in the country enjoy full liberty, despite reports to the contrary. Most of the North Vietnamese are Buddhists. The Christian minority is predominantly Roman Catholic. A majority of the Christians fled to the South after partitioning of the country.

“Freedom of religion must be strictly respected,” the new order declared. It specifically directed that the “unjustified” house detention or “unlawful” arrest of religious personnel be abolished. ...

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