Thousands Of Myanmar’s Displaced Christians Need Food, Medicines
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
NAYPYIDAW (Worthy News) – The number of internally displaced persons in Myanmar has swollen to 1.7 million since the military coup of February 2021, aid workers say.
Among those fleeing are hundreds of thousands of Christians who lost loved ones as well as their homes and other properties, Christian aid group Barnabas Aid told Worthy News.
“In order to survive, we had to flee,” explained Hayma, a displaced and homeless believer in one of Myanmar’s Christian-majority states, in comments shared with Worthy News.
Hayma, her husband, and their two children, aged nine and one, were forced to evacuate their home village to escape attacks by Myanmar’s military, known as Tatmadaw.
“Every day and night, the military just fire heavy weapons and bombards our village,” she recalled. “They even sent aircraft and dropped bombs on our village.”
She added, “The worst thing is that soldiers entered our village and burned down all the houses. We were so sad that all our belongings in our house were burned down by the military.”
Hayma, which isn’t her real full name, said she and her family “are now living in a temporary shelter in a camp for internally displaced persons.”
However, she is “just one of the traumatic accounts” Barnabas Aid which works with project partners in Myanmar, also known as Burma, where claimed, “horrendous violence against ethnic-minority Christians persists.”
Backed by donors, Barnabas Aid said it was distributing food items, including “staples such as rice, noodles, fish, vegetables, beans, peppers, and oil.”
The group explained they “Our partners have also distributed baby formula to those with infants, along with medical supplies, tarpaulins, and blankets.”
However, Barnabas Aid said relief work has been complicated as the “terrain is unforgiving.” The group added that “In one distribution, several boat trips were needed to transport aid to a camp for internally displaced people followed by an onward journey by four-wheel drive truck. Other journeys required an ox and cart.”
Barnabas Aid added it could reach some “3,500 Christian families, about 17,500 people, in the period April-December 2022 – and this provision of practical aid is continuing.”
Myanmar’s military took power in a February 1, 2021, coup, abruptly halting the country’s fragile transition toward democracy.
It justified the coup by alleging widespread fraud in the 2020 election – which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won by a landslide. Independent observers have rejected such claims.
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