by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - The Buddhist military junta of Myanmar is continuing to attack Christian villages in Chin state among other regions of the country, Myanmar Now reports. After overthrowing the government in a coup on February 1, 2020, the Myanmar army (Tatmadaw) has sought to suppress non-Buddhist faith communities by carrying out attacks on civilian and religious targets.
Having destroyed some 34 churches and 15 other Christian religious buildings between February 2021 and January 2022, on March 12 the military attacked the predominantly Christian village of Chaung Yoe, and set fire to the pulpit and altar of the Mary Help of Christians Church, Myanmar Now reports.
Civilians fleeing the military violence often seek shelter in houses of worship: during the March 12 attack, the military also murdered a 55-year-old man and his son.
In a website statement about the plight of Myanmar Christians, Open Doors said there has been ongoing fighting between the army and the resistance in predominantly Christian states like Kachin State, Karen State and Chin state. “ More Christians than ever have been driven out to live in camps for displaced people, where they are often deprived of access to food and healthcare because of their faith. In the quickly evolving Civil Disobedience Movement, Christians are involved as well,” Open Doors said.
“While Buddhist monks are somewhat divided concerning the 2021 military coup, many of the more radical monks support it. Christians worry that the coup will return the country to a military rule that was brutal for many believers,” Open Doors added.
Myanmar ranks 12th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.