An ongoing curfew in Paletwa Township has made it impossible for locals—most of whom are Christian—to engage in their regular Christmas festivities.
The curfew, which lasts from 6:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. every night, was imposed by a General Administration Department (GAD) officer in the southern Chin State township on November 9. It was invoked through Article 144 of Burma’s penal code, and bans people from being out in public during restricted hours and prohibits gatherings of five or more people.
It was put into place in response to ongoing clashes between the Burma Army and the Arakan Army in Paletwa, with the GAD officer citing “security concerns.”
“In the past, we used to hold a big Christmas party day and night. We cannot hold a big Christmas party with performances this year. We will only have a dinner party,” local pastor Mosset told Khonumthung News.
Among the events canceled are caroling events in the evening, Mosset added.
“The Christmas period is very important for believers… because of political obstacles, we cannot be happy during this period,” the pastor explained. “We are also worried when we hear the sound of guns shooting. It causes us mental distress.”
Paletwa town is home to more than 15 churches.