The unrest persists in Myanmar, and it may yet get worse. Christians and churches continue to be targeted, with three believers killed in a recent attack. Please continue to lift in prayer the country and its Christians.
Protests in Myanmar against the military, who seized power in February 2021 and have since tightened their grip on the country
Your prayers remain urgently needed for Myanmar and its Christians, as the military’s grip on power continues to bring devastation and disruption.
Three Christians were recently killed in an attack on four homes in the village of Janglenphai in Sagaing Division. In the same region, a church used as a refugee camp was raided by military forces, while another was bombed and money taken from mission boxes, offerings and tithes.
Meanwhile, in Thatlang in neighbouring Chin State, two churches were burnt down. This brings the total number of destroyed churches in the locality to 12 since February 2021, when the military seized power. The ongoing attacks are leading to the displacement of more Christians.
“When will this war end?” asks Tun Tun*, an Open Doors local partner. “We live as refugees in a foreign land, resources are scarce and we never wanted to move, but for our safety and for our family, we must run.
"Please pray for us and with us that God will intervene, and the war will end" Tun Tun
“Please pray for the safety of the believers in Sagaing Division and Chin State,” Tin Tin continues. “There are many pagodas and shrines but not a single bullet hit those Buddhist buildings and structures in our areas, whereas the Christian’s buildings and churches were destroyed.
“They ravage the Kuki Chin Christian villages, and they kill us like animals.”
There are concerns that conflict in the country will worsen following the recent execution of two pro-democracy leaders, Ko Jimmy and Phyo Zayar Thaw, in Insein Prison, Yangon. The People’s Defence Forces (or PDF, a network of civilian militia groups fighting to restore democracy) have said they will avenge their deaths.
“When I look at the situation, we fled from our homes because we are fearful in our land,” says Muang*, a young refugee. “We live in fear here. Our country is going backwards, maybe 20 to 30 years backwards, when we compare it to our neighbouring countries. I worry for our children’s future and ours.”
“I think at this point, the military junta do not care about pressure from international organisations and other countries,” adds Win Tin*, a local partner. “They are making people afraid so that they will not dare to oppose them. However, this will have an opposite reaction as the people are becoming more furious toward the military. Forgiveness has become irrelevant, even to some Christians in this political situation. Many people posted on social media platform that ‘We will never forget and forgive.’”
Since the coup, local authorities have posed strong restrictions on gathering, fearing that people may gather for protests and be mobilised for the PDF. But despite this, Christians continue to find ways to gather for worship and fellowship, such is their yearning for it.
“There are three churches in the nearby areas, two of the churches were restricted from gathering, the other was bit remote so they could still gather,” shares Paing*, a local partner. “The believers from the other two churches gather in their house as a house church. New believers started joining and we are increasing.”
Paing goes on to share the moment in June when her church received a visit from the military and local authorities. “They took pictures and called the church’s pastor and elders to their office, and they said, we do not allow worship at church anymore and we must prevent crowd of people, it is the final warning.” It’s a sharp reminder of the risks facing believers as they seek to gather.
“Please pray for us and with us that God will intervene, and the war will end,” asks Tun Tun. “Please pray that we can all go back home.”
*names changed for security reasons
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