06/08/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On June 6th, the Burmese Army unleashed artillery fire on Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church, located near the town of Demoso in Kayah State. The church is at a Catholic stronghold in eastern Myanmar, and now has extensive damage from the attack.
According to church officials, there were no casualties. All parishioners had already fled to relatives’ homes in the jungle. Some priests and elderly nuns who remained there were not injured in the attack.
The church’s windows were broken and its walls were severely damaged by the shelling.
Our Lady, Queen of Peace Church is the third church in Myanmar’s eastern Kayah state to be attacked by the military in the span of two weeks. Sacred Heart Church near the state capital of Loikaw was hit by artillery fire on May 23, resulting in four dead and eight wounded. On May 26, St. Joseph Church in Demoso town was hit by artillery fire, resulting in no casualties but extensive damage to the building.
This latest attack came following a plea published by Myanmar Cardinal Charles Bo, which called for attacks on places of worship to end. Churches and convents are increasingly becoming places of refuge for internally displaced people as more than 100,000 civilians have been forced to leave their homes in Kayah and neighboring Shan state due to the intensified fighting between the military and pro-democracy groups since the Feb. 1 coup.
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