Burmese Military Arrests a Catholic Priest in Chin State
06/18/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On June 16, the Burmese military raided a Catholic parish house in Chin state, a majority Christian state in northern Myanmar. Soldiers arrested Father Michael Aung Ling for allegedly providing food to a civil resistance group.
Father Aung Ling was arrested around 8 am on June 16, and he was subjected to 11 hours of questioning before he was returned to the parish house around 7 pm, after signing a commitment letter.
According to UCA News, the soldiers also arrested one boarding student staying at the parish compound of St. Michael’s Church in the town of Kanpetlet. The military discovered rice bags stored at the parish house, and the soldiers subsequently accused the priest of supplying food to the Chinland Defense Force (CDF).
Several independent civil resistance groups have been actively fighting the Burmese military after it seized power during the February 1 coup. The CDF is one of these groups, using homemade rifles to ambush the army. In early May, a CDF ambush in Chin state inflicted heavy casualties on the Burmese military.
According to church officials in Chin state, the informants who provided information to the military that led to the arrest of Father Aung Ling provided false information.
Father Aung Ling’s arrest is the latest in a string of priests arrested by the Burmese military. It came just three days after six priests from the Mandalay Archdiocese were detained and released. It also came a little over a month after soldiers arrested a priest in Kachin state while traveling.
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