(Photo from https://ktckutkai.org/)
At least four students were injured when their Bible school in Myanmar’s northern Shan state was hit by army artillery earlier this month.
The Kachin Theological College
in Kutkai town was severely damaged in an attack on 4 November [Kachin News
Local sources told the Myanmar Now
news site that at the time of the attack there was no fighting in the area.
A volunteer who helped the students to get to the hospital said that the students had been wounded by shrapnel whilst in their dormitory. “They were injured because the shell hit a tree [on the premises] first. I can’t even imagine what could have happened if it had hit them directly,” she told the news site.
Four days earlier, on 30 October, Lonja Baptist Church in Wa Wun village in Momauk township, Kachin state, was damaged
by military shelling also.
Since the coup in February 2021 the military has unleashed a bloody clamp down on any opposition, resulting in a civil war that has engulfed the country.
“In the shadow of the Ukraine war, the civil war in Myanmar continues to grind on,” said Thomas Muller, persecution analyst with Open Doors World Watch Research. “After eighteen months in power the military regime has failed to assert control. The Tatmadaw, the national army, appears unable to overcome the fierce resistance of the opposition forces, which have been joined by some ethnic minority armies.”
Christians in the crosshairs
Myanmar’s Christians, particularly in majority-Christian areas, find themselves in the crosshairs of the ongoing fighting with attacks on their homes and churches that are perceived to be supporting the opposition.
The violence has forced more than 1.4 million people from their homes
, including more than 400,000 children.
Some of them, on the run and looking for a better life, are detained at check points. Two Christian girls from the Kayah tribe were arrested when they were on their way to apply for a passport. “The local authorities do not allow Kayah Christians to move to other places, not even children who want to study, let alone youth,” local partner Ko Min told Open Doors. “If the authorities know that someone is from the Kayah ethnic group, they are usually arrested and detained. Travelling has become extremely challenging with checks and harsh interrogations at check points and so people are stuck in the conflict zones,” said Min whose real name is withheld for security reasons.
The violence is affecting Christians deeply, another local partner who also cannot be named to protect his identity, said. “Many Christians in the area where I am serving are experiencing trauma on a daily basis, both in their soul and their physical bodies. They are discouraged, frustrated and in need of counselling,” he said.
Open Doors’ partners have been able to help through organising basic counselling training for lay leaders so they can support those around them.
- Ask God to heal and comfort the injured students and traumatized people in Myanmar
- Churches keep trusting God and live out an extraordinary testimony in difficulties and extreme persecution; Open Doors local partners have the resources to support believers
- May the merciful God bring forgiveness, healing and peace on Myanmar.
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