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The ongoing conflict in Myanmar greatly affects the Christian community

Since the military coup in February 2021, more than hundred religious sites were destroyed, over half of them belonged to Christian groups.

The military took over Myanmar in February 2021. Since then, the fight with resistance groups and constant airstrikes have not been a rare sight. However, in many cases, airstrikes hit schools, hospitals, civilian villages, and places of worship.

A report by the Centre for Information Resilience (CIR) found that the ongoing conflict has a

sustained and long-term impact on the Christian population of Chin State.”

Chin State is Myanmar’s only state where Christian believers are in the majority. Christians make up 85% of the state’s population.

The research also shows that between the period from March to August 2023, ten churches were damaged in the fights, mostly by airstrikes.

Chin State is one of the bastions of the resistance against the military regime, so the fights are having significant impacts on the infrastructure as well as the people living there.

The airstrikes, carried out by the military junta’s air force, are the number one cause of the destruction of churches. Usually, an airstrike leaves them with significant structural damage, and in many cases, civilians also fall victim to it.

The places of worship are protected under international law and play a significant role in the lives of local communities. Despite the protection provided by international law, churches are desired targets of destruction, serving as a symbol for the faithful.

Salai Za Uk Ling, deputy executive director of the Chin Human Rights Organization, said that,

The destruction of Christian churches is deliberate so as to inflict psychological trauma on a specific religious and cultural community. They are not collateral damage.”

Since the beginning of the conflict in 2021, over a hundred places of worship have been destroyed, and more than half of them belonged to Christian groups.

Even though the religious leaders in Myanmar appealed for the protection of these places, their destruction is likely to continue further.

Source: Vatican News

Photo: CIR

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