Myanmar: Burmese Army continues violent campaign against churches

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - The Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) is continuing to attack and loot churches in Myanmar's Christian-majority Chin state as part of a violent campaign to impose Buddhism in the country, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

On November 28, the Tatmadaw opened fire against the St. Michael Catholic Church and its convent in Kanpalet, Chin State, driving out the clergy and nuns, ICC reports. Soldiers later looted the convent building, stealing $4800 in cash, medical supplies, a computer, and other items. In a statement, a local Chin pastor who did not want to be named for security reasons said most churches in Kanpalet have been attacked by junta troops, ICC reports. Some churches have even been bombed, the pastor said.

The Tatmadaw is particularly focused on attacking Chin because the state is a stronghold of resistance against the junta, and because 90% of the population is Christian, ICC said.

Accordingly, several Tatmadaw brigades have been deployed to Chin, which borders Bangladesh and India: Chin National Front officials and local resistance fighters reported in late October that there were large numbers of Tatmadaw troops now stationed in Chin’s capital Hakha, and in the neighboring Mindat, Kanpetlet, Falam, and Thantlang townships, ICC said.

“Religious nationalism is especially strong in Myanmar and drives much of the persecution of Christians,” Open Doors USA said in a website statement. “There is an increasing emphasis on Buddhism, to the exclusion of all other religions,” Open Doors explained.

Myanmar ranks 18 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.