03/17/2022 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Last week, ICC reported that on March 10, the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) bombed a building serving as the convent and hospital of the Sisters of Reparation. The attack severely damaged the convent’s roof, windows, and ceiling.
The convent, located in the village of Doungankha in the majority-Christian Kayah State, had been uninhabited for several months. However, before its inhabitants were forced to evacuate due to continued military attacks, the convent served as a retirement home and hospital for elderly nuns.
In June 2021, the convent was temporarily evacuated after a neighboring church, the Church of Our Lady of Peace, was bombed by the Tatmadaw. The sisters returned to Doungankha soon after. However, the pandemic had grown exponentially throughout the summer, and several fell very ill. Unfortunately, the number of violent military attacks in the area continued to grow. Five nuns sick with COVID-19 who were taken to the hospital by ambulance had to drive on back roads to avoid gunfire.
Following the death of five sisters from the coronavirus and the increased violence in the region of their convent, the remaining sisters have since had to flee their convent. Internally displaced, they are moving from convent to convent in Kayah state.
One of the sisters, who are currently on the move and trying to escape the military bombings, offered the following testimony to AsiaNews. She describes the aftermath of a bombing on the convent in September 2021.
“The next day, the shooting had stopped, and we went out to see the damage: bullet holes, broken glass, part of our house hit by the bombing. We thanked the Lord because there was no one there. But, at that very moment, we heard shots again, and the superior told us: ‘Sisters, we can’t stay here any longer. Let’s go.’ She informed the bishop that we were leaving the house and asked for help to evacuate the elderly and the children.
The elderly were left in a car with the superior, while we sisters, with the frightened children and their mothers, set off to find a safer place. When we finally arrived at a parish, we found a situation similar to the one we had just left: old people who could not escape, children crying, and the smoke from the bombs. All this caused me immense pain.”
The testimony of this Burmese nun demonstrates the daily suffering that many Christians throughout Myanmar are facing as the coup persists and the Tatmadaw continues to target churches and religious buildings.
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