Myanmar’s military junta occupied a Catholic Church in the Shan state, laying land mines around it, according to reports.
According to The Christian Post, the junta occupied the Mother of God church for a few days before vacating the church in the area formerly known as Burma. The southeast Asian country has been at war since 1948.
Local defense forces posted a video on social media that showed the church floors were dirty and the pews dusty during the military occupation.
The church isn’t the first to undergo damage in the fighting. Previously, at least six other parishes in the Pekhon diocese have been abandoned, and the Sacred Heart Cathedral has been repeatedly attacked and damaged in the ongoing fighting.
“At a time when the world has overwhelmingly banned these inherently indiscriminate weapons, the military has placed them in people’s yards, homes, and even stairwells, as well as around a church,” said Matt Wells, Amnesty International’s crisis response deputy director of thematic issues.
Christians account for about 7 percent of the majority-Buddhist nation, but in the Chin State, Kachin State, and Kayah State nations, Christians make up the majority.
Earlier in the summer, the United Nations and other entities reported that Myanmar’s Buddhist nationalist junta had been attacking religious minority groups, including the murders of “hundreds of children.”
The U.N. report said more than 250,000 children had been displaced in the fighting, and more than 1,400 had been detailed. At least 61 children are reportedly being held as hostages.
“The junta’s relentless attacks on children underscore the generals’ depravity and willingness to inflict immense suffering on innocent victims in its attempt to subjugate the people of Myanmar,” said Tom Andrews, the U.S. special rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar.
“I received information about children who were beaten, stabbed, burned with cigarettes, and subjected to mock executions, and who had their fingernails and teeth pulled out during lengthy interrogation sessions.”
Myanmar is No. 12 on Open Door USA’s 2022 World Watch List of 50 countries for persecution of Christians.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/MikeLane45
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.