Burmese military attacks two churches within a week, four refugees killed

Thursday, June 3, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The Burmese army attacked two churches in one week in Kayah State, Myanmar, killing four and wounding eight refugees who were sheltering in one of the church’s buildings, International Christian Concern reports. The attacks came amid intense fighting between the military and local resistance groups in the wake of the February 1 coup.

On May 21, the Burmese military attacked the Sacred Heart Church near Loikaw, in Kayah State. Among the group of refugees who were sheltering here, four were killed and eight were wounded, ICC said.

Following this attack, Cardinal Charles Bo, Myanmar’s Roman Catholic leader, took to Twitter in calling for an end to attacks on houses of worship by the army, ICC reports. The Cardinal noted the rise in internally displaced people seeking food and shelter in churches.

However, a day later, the military attacked St. Joseph’s Church in the town of Demoso, also in Kayah state. In the event, no one was in the building at the time as Demoso residents had fled their town for a safer place, ICC said. Nevertheless, the building was riddled with bullet holes and windows were smashed.

More than 50,000 residents of Kayah and neighboring Shan state have left their homes and are sheltering in churches and convents as the fighting continues, ICC said.