As the world's attention is centred on the estimated 700,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing slaughter from the military in Burma, another group who are predominantly Christian are facing a similar fate. The Kachin people live in an area of northern Burma, near the borders of India and China.
For decades, there has been a conflict between the government and Kachin rebels fighting for independence. Recently, however, response from the Burmese military has greatly intensified. Attacks by air and artillery have been indiscriminate, and landmines have caused villages to be uninhabitable. Additionally, women have been ruthlessly raped and camps of displaced persons have been cruelly targeted. Soldiers have occupied churches and interrogated entire congregations. Access by journalists, aid organizations and others has been denied.
Many Kachins believe that the attacks have been increasing because the military's persecution of Rohingya Muslims has gone unpunished. Other ethnic and religious minorities are also worried they may be next. Paul Robinson of Release International says, "The military controls Burma with an iron grip, and there are some who won't rest until all of Burma is Buddhist -- at any price. They've targeted the Muslims, now they're going for the Christians."
Please pray for the protection of those suffering these merciless attacks. Also remember Burma's church leaders as they tirelessly work to comfort and encourage their people. May pressure from leaders within Burma and countries around the world, who are standing against such human rights abuses, prove to be beneficial in putting a stop to these indiscriminate attacks.