by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - As violent conflicts between the Burmese army and local forces in Myanmar continue unabated, five civilians sheltering in churches were recently killed as an increasing number of church buildings in Kayah and Shan states have been attacked in the fighting, International Christian Concern reports. Kayah state has one of the largest communities of Christians in Myanmar.
According to ICC, from May 23 to June 6 the Burmese army used heavy weapons against local forces, damaging the Golden Temple of Jesus and Jeroblo Marian Shrine and Our Lady of Lourdes Cave in Pekon, Mother Mary’s Church in Moebye, St. Joseph’s Church in Demoso, the Catholic Church in Daw Ngan Khar Village, and St. Peter’s Church in Loikaw.
“Many people seek shelter in churches when their villages are under attack, which makes the recent spike in attacks on churches even more disturbing,” ICC said in its report.
Since May 20, over 100,000 Kayah state residents have left their homes to escape the fighting, and thousands of them are sheltering in churches, ICC said.
Calling for international intervention in the attacks on churches, Aung Myo Min, human rights minister for the parallel National Unity Government (NUG), said in a statement: “The attacks on religious buildings is a violation of international laws of war. The shooting of people who are hiding and taking refuge there is another serious matter.”