More than 30 people, including elders, women and children, were burned alive in a village in Kayah state by the Myanmar military on Christmas Eve.
According to The Christian Post, multiple human rights groups have confirmed that at least 35 people died in the attacks.
“Today, the 25th of December, Christmas Day, is an important day of celebration and peace for the world. However, today the genocidal junta made their choice to say clearly that peace is the furthest thing from their mind,” tweeted Dr. Sasa, the Union Minister of International Cooperation, Spokesperson of the National Unity Government of Myanmar and Myanmar Special Envoy to the United Nations.
“These acts clearly constitute the worst crimes against humanity, and we expect that all peoples and governments the world over should condemn these acts,” he said in a statement. “With the condemnation, however, should come a commitment that these criminals be brought to justice and held fully accountable for their actions.”
Condemnation of the brutal attack and murder of 35 Karenni by the military junta in Myanmar— Dr. Sasa (@DrSasa22222) December 25, 2021
Today the 25th of December, Christmas Day, is an important day of celebration and peace for the world. However, today the genocidal junta made their choice to say clearly that peace is... pic.twitter.com/RwQgpsrwWm
As reported by Reuters, the victim’s bodies were found by the Karenni Human Rights Group (KHRG) on Saturday. The Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF), one of the largest of multiple civilian militias opposing the Myanmar military, confirmed that the victims were civilians.
“We were so shocked at seeing that all the dead bodies were different sizes, including children, women and old people,” a KNDF member told Reuters.
International aid group Save the Children announced that they were suspending operations in the region where the junta assault occurred after two of its staffers were missing on Friday, NPR reports.
Myanmar’s military, also known as Tatmadaw, acknowledged that its troops killed an unspecified number of “terrorists with weapons” in the village. They added that the people were in seven vehicles and did not stop for the military.
Friday’s incidents come in the wake of multiple attacks by the Myanmar military after they carried out a military coup on February 1 of this year. Many civilians, including Christians, have been displaced from their villages, becoming zones of escalating conflict.
In a statement by the U.K.-based group Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the KHRG reported that at least 651 houses, six churches, and at least one clinic in Kayah state were destroyed between May 21 and December 20.
According to Open Doors USA, Myanmar is ranked number 18 on its list of countries where it is most difficult for Christians to live due to Buddhist nationalism.
Photo courtesy: ©Unsplash/Andy Watkins
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.