Myanmar: Burmese army continues to destroy churches

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - Ignoring calls to stop its attacks on houses of worship, the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) in late November burned down a Baptist church and a Catholic church as part of an ongoing effort to destroy the Christian-majority town of Thantlang in Myanmar’s Chin state, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Since carrying out a military coup on February 1, the Tatmadaw has been violently seeking to impose Buddhism as the only religion in Myanmar. Christian communities in the country have come under sustained attack, with hundreds of believers being murdered or displaced, and their homes and churches destroyed.

Attacking Thantlang on November 26 and 27, the Tatmadaw burned down St. Nicholas Catholic Church and the Thantlang Centenary Baptist Church. These churches are the latest to be destroyed: since September, the army has destroyed four other churches - and 300 houses, ICC reports. Thantlang is now deserted, as over 10,000 residents have fled to other towns and even to India.

“The predominantly Christian Chin state has been at the forefront of resistance to the junta and has witnessed fierce attacks by the military including airstrikes, heavy artillery, and indiscriminate attacks on civilians,” ICC explained in its report. Hundreds have been arbitrarily detained and dozens killed.” According to ICC, the fact that the Tatamadaw has continued to burn down churches even in deserted towns shows “the brutality and religious agenda of the junta.”

Myanmar ranks 18 on the US Open Doors Watch List of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.