An elderly Kachin state woman searches for shelter after fleeing fighting between Myanmar solders and insurgents at 2011
The ongoing civil war between government troops and the Kachin National Army (an ethnic armed group) has flared up and thousands of residents from the war-torn areas are fleeing from their homes.
Kachin is a predominantly Christian area of Myanmar according to a pastor and his wife, who have been participants of our couples training. There are 85 displaced believers staying in their church, not knowing when they can go back home.
Two other contacts who attend training courses run by partners of Open Doors said that every church in their area is hosting and providing accommodation for displaced believers. “The local churches are doing their best to accommodate believers fleeing from the war zones. They also donate food and other materials as much as they can to help. Yet the government local authorities does not allow churches and local district organizations to accept legal displacements. If they do, the church will be in trouble. The prices of commodities has hiked up to five times the usual price,” says a local contact.
Civilians in the war zone are not allowed to enter the big towns and cities. The people in towns and cities where there is no fighting are not allowed to go out from their cities. Roads were cordoned off with wires and government soldiers are on duty. The civilians in the war zone are threatened to leave their house or be killed, many houses are burnt down by the government soldiers.
According to a local contact many civilians from the affected area (Upper Chindwin and China border) are not admitted into the camp for internally displaced people, so they are forced to camp in open fields. Some hide in the jungle where they face starvation and sickness due to scarcity of food. Hundreds have lost their lives.
Young people who are not affected by the war went on a rally to stop the war.
The presence of NGOs in the Kachin area is rare due to the prohibition of the local authorities and the government, but Open Doors is able to send food to the affected people through a partner pastor.
- For the safety and security of displaced believers
- For the churches that may not be discouraged but stand firm in their faith and that they may keep helping believers in need
- For peace in the land, peace between the Myanmar government and the Kachin Independent Army and that people could go back to their homes
- Pray for young people in the IDP camps who are unable to continue their education and are losing confidence and purpose.
Myanmar is ranked number 24 in the World Watch List. Source of persecution: Religious nationalism, Dictatorial Paranoia.
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