Reports have surfaced Tuesday that the Burmese army attacked a church, shooting and torturing the worshippers.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) received the report from sources inside Kachin State, Burma. The report alleged that soldiers from the Burmese Army shot at worshippers in a church in Wai Maw Township two days ago.
Soldiers from the Burmese Army’s 88th Light Infantry Division attacked the Assemblies of God Church in the Muk Chyik village, part of the Wai Maw Township.
The reported attacks occurred on Nov. 6 and injured several people. The congregation was expelled from the church while the soldiers reportedly looted the church.
Mr. Jumphpawk Hawng Lum, a local member of the church, had his house burned down. And at least fifty church members were taken to work as forced porters for the Burmese Army.
The pastor of the church, the Rev. Yajawng Hkawng, was severely tortured and is now in the hospital. Also one of the church deacons, Hpalawng Lum Hkawng, who is the youth music team leader, was also injured according to the report.
About 90 percent of Burma’s 56 million people are Buddhist – and attacks on Christians in the region are not uncommon.
In an interview with Compass Direct, Nawdin Lahpai Editor-In-Chief for Kachin News Group told of the ongoing conflicts, “targeting of Christians is not unusual in Burma’s conflict zones.” He said referring to previous incidents.
“The incident reflects the long-time policy of the Buddhist-Burman-majority Burmese government, which discriminates against the ethnic Christian minority,” he added.
East Asian Team Leader for Christian solidarity Worlwide, Benedict Rogers said, “The military in Burma has unleashed yet another wave of terror against civilians in the ethnic states, at a time when the regime is speaking about reform. The regime is perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Rogers stated, “The international community must take immediate action to provide humanitarian assistance to those internally displaced in Kachin State, and to end the culture of impunity which has prevailed in Burma for too long.”