Myanmar: Burmese Army burns down Pentecostal church attended by country’s former Vice-President
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) has burned down a Pentecostal church once attended by Myanmar’s ousted Vice President Henry Van Thio and his wife, Dr. Sui Hluan in the country’s Christian-majority Chin state, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.
In seeking to impose Buddhism on the whole of Myanmar, the Tatmadaw is currently pursuing a relentless campaign of violence and displacement against the Christian community among other minority groups: the conflict is part of Myanmar’s civil war, which began in 1948.
The United Pentecostal Church was set on fire during a December 4 attack on Thantlang, a town that the Tatmadaw has targeted so repeatedly that around 10,000 Christian residents have fled, leaving it deserted, ICC reports. The church and its clergy quarter were among 19 buildings torched in the attack.
There are 4,362,000 Christians among Myanmar’s overall population of 54,808.000. Believers are vulnerable to attacks from insurgent groups fighting the Burmese Army, as well as the Tatmadaw itself.
“Christians are vulnerable to persecution by insurgent groups and the army, and more than 100,000 Christians in the north live in Internal Displacement Camps (IDPs) where they are deprived of access to food and health care,” the Christian advocacy organization Open Doors USA reports on its website.
Myanmar ranks 18 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.
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