Myanmar’s Military Junta Conducts Search of Church Groups in Kachin State

04/08/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – During Easter weekend, the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) conducted a search at several church organizations in Mohnyin, Kachin state, claiming illegal activity was taking place.

On Saturday, the junta’s Northern Command troops searched Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Roman Catholic Association, and Anglican Association churches.

“It was not a random search. They were thorough, climbed over fences and went into every building in the compound. An officer came through the door but did not say a word and went straight to search my house,” Rev. Awng Seng of Mohnyin KBC told The Irrawaddy.

A member of the Roman Catholic Association also said, “They searched everywhere. They were also after anti-regime protesters. They even searched our motorbikes.”

Soldiers claimed that a protest leader was inside the compound and that religious leaders were participating in anti-regime protests. Yet they did not find anything illegal at the three sites.

Responding to the searches, Dr. Hkalam Samson, the KBC president, said, “Searches using unnecessary force were signs of a dictatorship.” He added, “Religious sites are sacred. Not to mention God, people don’t like bullying with rifles and boots in a sacred place.”

Conditions in Myanmar continue to worsen after the February coup prompted unceasing anti-coup demonstrations and the Tatmadaw responds with violence and killings. More than 580 people have died in the violence, including dozens of children.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia: press@persecution.org

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