News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Dr Samson banner.jpg
Dr Samson.jpg
World News

Former Kachin Baptist Convention President sentenced to 6 years in Myanmar for 'terrorism'

by Sophie Drew

Reverend Dr Hkalam Samson, former President of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), has been sentenced to six years in prison by a court in Myanmar on charges of unlawful association, defaming the state, and terrorism. Reverend Dr Samson is an internationally respected advocate for freedom of religion and human rights in Myanmar.

He was arrested at Mandalay International Airport on 5 December 2022 while attempting to travel to Bangkok and has been held in Myitkyina prison since then. The court in Myitkyina sentenced Reverend Dr Samson, who also serves as Chairman of the Kachin National Consultative Assembly, under section 17 (1) of the Unlawful Association Act, section 505 (a) of the Penal Code, and section 52 (a) of the Terrorism Act.

Reverend Samson served as President of the KBC from 2018 to 2022 and previously for two terms as General Secretary from 2010 to 2018. In 2019, he participated in the International Religious Freedom Ministerial Conference in Washington DC, where he met with the United States President in the White House.

In November 2018, Reverend Samson visited London with other religious, human rights, and civil society activists from Kachin, Shan, and Ta'ang ethnic nationalities in northern Myanmar. He met senior British Parliamentarians and officials during this visit. In April 2021, just over two months after the military coup in Myanmar that overthrew Aung San Suu Kyi's democratically elected civilian government, Reverend Samson issued an appeal for prayer for Myanmar alongside the current General Secretary of the KBC.

Benedict Rogers, CSW's Senior Analyst for East Asia and a friend of Reverend Samson, condemned the sentence: "This sentence is an outrageous travesty of justice. Reverend Dr Samson is a completely non-violent Christian pastor and a brave and tireless advocate of justice, human rights, and peace. He has been jailed simply for courageously speaking out against the Myanmar military's barbaric atrocities perpetrated against the people of Myanmar."

Rogers called on the international community to take action: "The international community must speak out strongly to demand his immediate release from prison and intensify efforts to apply targeted sanctions against Myanmar's illegal military regime until all political prisoners are freed, the military ceases all attacks in the ethnic states, and Myanmar is placed on a path of genuine federal democracy."

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email