(Ximeng, Yunnan—July 21, 2012) The government of Mengka Township, Ximeng County, Yunnan Province has long suppressed the development of Christianity, persecuting minority ethnic Christians and Han [Chinese] missionaries, and strictly banning personal ownership of the Bible.
Mengka Township, Ximeng County, Yunnan Province, on the border with Myanmar, has been home to the Wa minority for many generations. Across the border in Myanmar are also a large number of Wa villages, and this area has traditionally been called Wa State. Due to transportation difficulties, this region is backwards in terms of social and economic development, but it boasts a rather long tradition of [Christian] faith. Many Wa people are descendants of Christians who converted several generations earlier. In Myanmar, 90 percent of Wa State is Christian; these believers can freely worship God, and legally and freely proclaim the Gospel and build churches.
But their Wa compatriots on the Chinese side, who are separated from them by just a mountain or a river, have no real religious freedom. They have long been threatened and suppressed by the local government: not allowed to build churches, to gather together for Sunday worship or to study the Bible. The local authorities often go door-to-door searching and confiscating Bibles. Some believers have had their been low income benefits and medical care benefits terminated because of their religious belief.