Kachin people at a refugee camp
Photo: Barnabas Aid
To date, a total of 66 churches have been burnt down in Kachin state, the result of a conflict that reignited in June of 2011, according to a report provided by the Kachin Women's Association of Thailand. The figures in this report have been confirmed by the Kachin Baptist Convention based in Myitkyina.
Julia Marip, spokesperson for the women's association, believes that the burning of churches by government forces is a matter related to religious persecution. Compounding the seriousness of this situation is the fact that 30 reported incidents of sexual assault, involving 64 women or girls (cases that include gang rapes), have been committed by Myanmar troops. "Half of those women raped were killed afterward," Julia Marip sadly announces. For an historical overview, go to the Burma Country Report.
Ask the Lord to grant these suffering Christians in Burma greatly needed strength and protection. In the midst of these seemingly insurmountable trials and times of chaos, may they be encouraged of His unfailing love, faithfulness and ability to provide divine intervention, healing and restoration. Also pray that He will work mightily in the hearts and minds of the perpetrators, including all those in authority.