Michael D. Leigh
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Social issues
in Conflict, politics and proselytism
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The Roman Catholic Convent was the only school in Mandalay that catered specifically for Eurasian girls. A.W. Bestall launched a furious campaign to persuade the Missionary Committee to provide funds for a Wesleyan Eurasian girls' school in Mandalay. The missionaries were also very interested in certain aspects of public health, but their preoccupations were extremely selective. Leprosy melted hearts in Victorian England. One other social problem was entirely new. Wayward Burmese adolescents were addicted to films. They may have picked up the bad habit from the missionaries' magic-lantern shows, where mesmerised audiences gawped at cartoon Bible stories. Although leprosy brought the lives of individual sufferers crashing down, it was not the most important health problem in Burma. It was a political issue. In 1900 the missionaries asked the Missionary Society to send a missionary doctor. In 1911 Bradford described the hospital in Pakokku, a 'congested town, which is unsanitary'.

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Conflict, politics and proselytism

Methodist missionaries in colonial and postcolonial Upper Burma, 1887–1966


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