The Myanmar army has bombed a Baptist seminary in the Kachin region as the country’s violent military junta continues years of a “silent war” against the majority Christian ethnic group.
The Tatmadaw, as the country’s military junta is known, struck the Theological Seminary in Kutkai, Shan State in an attack on November 4.
Although the army, that took over Myanmar in a shocking coup d’etat in 2021, has waged an ongoing war against the Kachin and other ethnic minority strongholds such as those held by Rohingya Muslims, there was no fighting between the Tatmadaw and Kachin militants at the time, International Christian Concern reported.
Four students, Myitung Doi La, 24; Ndau Awng San, 27; Nhkum Sut Ring Awng, 21; and Sumlut Brang San, 22, were struck with shrapnel and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
“They (Military Council) hate our Kachin people so much,” a local resident told 72 Media. “This is why we are being targeted and attacked. This looks like a planned shooting. My heart hurts so much. Since this happened, we Kachin people must be careful.”
This comes just days after the bombing of a Baptist church and hall in Momauk township, Kachin state, which itself was preceded by Tatmadaw airstrikes on civilians who had gathered for a music festival to celebrate Kachin Independence Day, killing 80 and injuring over 200.
“The attack against this Kachin Bible school was certainly not an accident,” said Gina Goh, ICC’s regional manager for Southeast Asia. “Instead, the Tatmadaw deliberately targeted a Christian facility knowing how important the faith is to Kachin people. This despicable junta regime should not be tolerated any further by the international community and needs to be removed at once.”
The ruling class in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is made up of the Buddhist Bamars that consider themselves to be the epitome of what it means to be Burmese.
Long before February’s military coup, unseating the daughter of the spiritual “father of the nation” Aung San, Aung San Suu Kyi, the Tatmadaw has been accused of waging genocidal war against the Kachin Christians and other ethnic minorities.
Myanmar ranks no. 12 on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List of the most dangerous countries to be a Christian as ultra-nationalist “Buddhist only” communities often shun converts to the faith from access to water.
The 2021 coup worsened violent attacks against Christians, with many being driven out of their homes and communities in droves on top of violence against churches and pastors.
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