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Junta Carried Out Raid in Search of Hidden Weapons

04/12/2022 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 8, dozens of soldiers from the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) raided a Catholic compound in Myanmar’s Mandalay in search of “hidden weapons.” 

Approximately 40 soldiers forced their way into Sacred Heart Cathedral during Lent preparations in the afternoon, holding scores of worshippers for hours, including Archbishop Marco Tin Win. 

Asia News reports that junta soldiers stormed in and demanded to know where the gold, money, and weapons were hidden, stopping anyone from fleeing. One source revealed to UCA News, “They claimed to have been tipped off about weapons being hidden in the clergy center.”  

When Father Dominic Jyo Du, vicar general of the Archdiocese, tried to explain that the only money they had was donations raised for the poor, he, too, was pushed into the cathedral. Archbishop Marco Tin Win, who was in another building at the time of the raid, was taken to the cathedral and ordered to sit with the others. 

The soldiers left after nearly three hours when they failed to locate any weapons. Afterward, the local Catholic community in the city’s five parishes was alerted, and many expressed their concerns about the raid. 

“We were relieved that no one was hurt or arrested, and we could resume our church services,” a parishioner of the Way of the Cross shared with UCA News. 

“The Tatmadaw’s ongoing assaults against churches and religious leaders should not be ignored by the international community. The junta soldiers not only intimidate Christians, they also often occupy, desecrate, and loot churches around the nation. It is common for them to target religious clergy and detain them as well. The Tatmadaw must be held accountable for all the crimes it has committed,” said Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia. 

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Since 1995, ICC has served the global persecuted church through a three-pronged approach of advocacy, awareness, and assistance. ICC exists to bandage the wounds of persecuted Christians and to build the church in the toughest parts of the world.