Religious persecution, rape still evident in Kachin State
ICC Note: In this shocking report a human rights organization working in Burma reveals that sixty-six churches have been burned down by the Burmese military since the beginning of a military offensive in June 2011. The Burmese military, which is made up completely of Buddhist troops, has been at war with the ethnic Kachin, who are over 90% Christian, for decades. A cease-fire between the groups ended when the Burmese military attacked again in June 2011. According to this article they have waged “unequal warfare” on Christian holy days and torched sixty-six churches in just a year and a half.
2/15/2013 Burma (MN) -Sixty-six Christian churches have been burnt down in Kachin state since the conflict erupted in June 2011, according to the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT), a figure that is backed by Myitkyina-based Kachin Baptist Convention.
According to website CatholicCulture, spokesman Bishop Francis Daw Tang of Myitkyina said, “As a church, we walk with our displaced people, watch their lives being destroyed by war, their families fragmented by the depressing life in the displaced camps.”
He accused government forces were waging “unequal warfare” on Christian holy days.
Kwat’s Marip said there are now 100,000 people displaced by the conflict in Kachin State, 60,000 of whom are sheltered at the Sino-Myanmar border or other areas under Kachin rebel control, and 40,000 in areas under government control.
Marip said her organization had continuing evidence of systematic rape by Myanmar troops against Kachin and other ethnic women. She said KWAT had recorded 30 incidents where 64 women or girls had been sexually assaulted in Kachin State since the conflict began.
“Half of those women raped were killed afterward,” she said.