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(BosNewsLife) – When the guns fall silent, children, some of them malnourished and ill, gather in this jungle village of Burma to praise Jesus Christ in song and dance. In Burma , a country the military junta calls ‘ Myanmar ’, Thue Mwe Nee is one of several settlements being shelled by government forces in recent months despite promises of a ceasefire, BosNewsLife has established.

Thue Mwe Nee is located in the troubled border area of Burma ’s predominantly Christian Karen people, who are on the run in an ongoing jungle war the military rulers are apparently eager to hide from outsiders. A BosNewsLife team was therefore smuggled into Burma to witness people clinging to their lives and faith in Christ amid reports of genocide.

In this region, near Thailand , possibly thousands of people were killed, tortured and raped in recent years. Bodies of at least hundreds of children have been seen laying in rivers, Karen and church sources say.

“We everyday live in fear,” says 37-year old Manner, who supports the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a group of mainly ‘born-again’ Christians fighting to defend their villages and dreams of an autonomous Karen state. As with all Karen villagers here, Manner does not have a family name.

Thue Mwe Nee was set up over a year ago, after locals were driven out of their homes in nearby areas by the main army of Burma ’s governing State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The SPDC consists of a group of generals who have governed the Asian nation by decree without a constitution or legislature since 1988, when armed forces suppressed massive pro-democracy demonstrations.

“They even burned down the hospital,” Manner says about a recent attack by SPDC forces on his village. The Freedom One Hospital, a large windowless hut where patients are fighting Malaria and other diseases, was rebuild, but a lack of medicines and equipment means many villagers in the region will die.

“However I have hope,” says Dee, a 35-year old farmer suffering from Malaria who was forced from his home by SPDC troops. In a move that worries Christian rights groups the SPDC has managed to divide the majority Christians and minority Buddhists within the Karen community in recent years.


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