Date: September 16, 2021
Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Following intense fighting between the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) and the local defense groups in Myanmar’s Christian-majority Chin state, on September 14, the Tatmadaw shelled a Baptist church in Thantlang township.
The Johnson Memorial Baptist Church was hit by artillery fire at night, according to UCA News. There were no reported casualties despite the church windows being broken and the roof damaged.
It is possible that the Tatmadaw attacked the church with the assumption that people might have taken shelter inside, or that they wanted to destroy the religious symbol for the Chin people, knowing that their Christian faith is sacred to them.
The attack came after the Tatmadaw bombed houses at Lungler village, following the overrunning of a military outpost by a team made up of the Chin National Army and local resistance group Chinland Defense Force (CDF) last week.
12 Tatmadaw soldiers were killed last weekend and their camp burned down. According to the CDF, more than 400 fighters overtook the camp on September 12.
Despite the small victory made by civilian forces, the residents there are not safe because the Tatmadaw could soon launch new offensives in the villages. More than a thousand people have already fled the area into nearby India.
The Tatmadaw staged a coup in February to overtake the civilian government led by Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Since then, the Southeast Asian country has been ravaged with armed conflicts.
HOW TO PRAY: Pray for this congregation to recover what was damaged in the attack. Praise God that no one was killed. Pray for the conflict in this region to be resolved quickly and peacefully.