The Burmese army bombed a Baptist seminary in Myanmar last Thursday, injuring at least four men in their dormitory.
The Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military junta, shelled Theological Seminary in the Kutkai area. According to International Christian Concern, there was no prior conflict between junta forces and local ethnic armed groups before the attack.
“The attack against this Kachin Bible school was certainly not an accident,” Gina Goh, ICC’s regional manager for Southeast Asia, said in a statement. “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 men injured by shrapnel in the dormitory were Myitung Doi La, 24; Ndau Awng San, 27; Nhkum Sut Ring Awng, 21; and Sumlut Brang San, 22.
One local resident argued that the military attack on the seminary threatens the entire country.
“They (the Military Council) hate our Kachin people so much,” the 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.”
Last Thursday’s incident is the third military attack in recent weeks. On Oct. 30, the army shelled and partially destroyed a Baptist church and hall in the Montauk township in Kachin State. The Myanmar army also launched an airstrike during an anniversary celebration for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) on Oct. 23. At least 80 were killed in the attack. Hundreds of others were injured.
Myanmar is listed as No. 12 on persecution watchdog Open Doors USA’s list of 50 countries where Christian persecution is most rampant. Myanmar’s level of persecution on Christians is described as “very high” due to Buddhist nationalism.
Following a military coup in February 2021, the Tatmadaw has consistently attacked civilians, especially in predominantly Christian states like Kachin State, Karen State or the northern Shan State. Open Doors USA notes that the attacks have resulted in the death of many Christians and the destruction of churches. Other Christians have been displaced and forced to move to locations where food and water are scarce.
As reported by ICC, since last year’s military coup, more than 2,400 people have been killed in Myanmar, and over 16,000 people have been jailed and/or tortured by the Tatmadaw.
According to The Christian Post, the U.S. State Department also recognizes Burma as a “country of particular concern” for committing egregious violations of religious liberty.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Manuel Augusto Moreno
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.