A leaked secret document claims to reveal plans by the Burmese military regime to wipe out Christianity in the southeast Asian country.
The document, titled “Program to Destroy the Christian Religion in Burma,” was shown to the U.K.-based Telegraph newspaper on Sunday by human rights groups.
Inside the memo were detailed instructions on how to force Christians out of the country, according to Telegraph.
Instructions included imprisoning any person caught evangelizing, capitalizing on the fact that Christianity is a non-violent religion.
“The Christian religion is very gentle,” read the letter, according to Telegraph, “Identify and utilize its weakness.”
Burma, also known as Myanmar, has a Christian population of about four percent, according to the CIA World Factbook. Persecution against Christians have come in the form of church burnings, forced conversion to the state religion of Buddhism, and banning children of Christians from school.
Attacks against Christians are part of the government’s larger campaign against ethnic minorities, according to human rights groups. In eastern Burma, over 3,000 villages have been destroyed or abandoned in the past 10 years, according to the human rights group WITNESS. In the past year, an estimated 27,000 members of the predominantly Christian Karen tribe were forced from their homes in eastern Burma, according to Telegraph.
The Burmese regime has denied drafting the document, but has made no public attempt to renounce its contents, reported the U.K. newspaper.
Burma expelled most of its Christian mission back in 1966 and the repressive military regime continues to this day to control religious activities in the country.