Pray for Myanmar: Deadly air strike rocks Christians refugee camp
In a recent and devastating turn of events, a deadly air strike shattered the lives of innocent residents in a Christian-majority refugee camp in Myanmar’s Kachin State. At least 29 individuals lost their lives, while another 56 were wounded. Colonel Naw Bu of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) confirmed the attack, pointing fingers at the military for the tragic bombing. Heartbreakingly, all the victims were Christians.
This tragedy is just one of many stemming from the military coup that rocked Myanmar in 2021, sparking a civil war. As a result, thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, sometimes more than once. Shockingly, one-third of Myanmar’s population now depends on humanitarian aid, with two million people internally displaced.
Myanmar is currently #14 on the World Watch List. The Christian minority bears the brunt of ongoing conflict and attacks.
Christians in Myanmar struggle amidst conflict
In the face of such adversity, Christians in Myanmar find it hard to focus on prayer; their primary concern is survival. Christians are often caught in the crossfire between the Myanmar army and various resistance groups. Moreover, they risk being targeted by the military if they are suspected of supporting the opposition.
In July, the military abducted three deacons and a pastor from a Presbyterian Church in western Chin state, accusing the church of supporting an armed group. The church leaders were subjected to torture, with the deacons believed to have lost their lives, while the pastor managed to escape. Since the coup, the military has killed at least seven Chin pastors and destroyed over 70 religious buildings, including churches.
The ongoing toll of Myanmar's civil war
The ongoing conflict in Myanmar has taken a severe toll, with more than 4,100 casualties and over 25,000 arrests, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma). The military has extended martial law in predominantly Christian states, including Kachin, Kayah, and Chin, violating the constitution, and worsening the crisis.
Despite this dire situation, Myanmar’s civil war has received inadequate international attention. Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, emphasised the need for swift, innovative solutions to end this tragedy.
Open Doors is taking action to assist displaced Christians in Myanmar by working with local partners and volunteers who provide relief aid and help build shelters. The call for humanitarian aid and global awareness of the suffering in Myanmar is more critical than ever.
- Pray for all who are displaced, that they will experience the provision of God and of the body of Christ.
- Pray for the fragile Christian community who have lost their loved ones, that God will strengthen them and comfort them in this time
- Pray for peace in Myanmar and that God will move to bring the conflict to an end.
So many of you have given generously this year. Thank you! There are still needs to give, with your gifts contributing towards both the immediate and long-term needs of our persecuted families.