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11/13/2018 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – In September of 2018, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) forcibly recruited 41 students in Shan State near the Myanmar border of China. The students were studying at a Bible school, when they were taken away and forced to join the Wa army as part of a statewide clampdown on Christianity.

17 of the 41 students recruited into the Wa Army, managed to escape from the base they were being held at in the Wa hills near the Myanmar border of China on Monday, November 12th.

The general secretary of the Lahu Baptist convention in Kyaing Tong, Rev. Lazarus stated that the students are currently safe and are staying in Kyaing Tong town, yet they are in poor condition. He noted that it had been days since some of the students had eaten and students suffer from severe mental and physical health issues as a result of the trauma they encountered.

While they rejoice in the 17 that have escaped, they are fearful for the 24 who remain, 20 of whom are young girls. Rev. Lazarus stated that they “are concerned for the remaining students, especially the women, and we are continuing to call for their release through different channels.”

For interviews with Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org