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06/19/2022 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – On June 19, Pope Francis expressed his support for the persecuted believers suffering in Myanmar. He has joined Myanmar’s bishops in appealing for respecting human lives and the sanctity of places of worship, hospitals, and schools.  

Myanmar, controlled by a military junta since the coup in February 2021, has been in a state of almost constant civil war. People’s defense forces often clash with the military, forcing thousands to flee from their homes.  

Religious minorities, including many Christians, are often targeted by the Buddhist nationalist military to suppress the opposition to military rule. Many churches and other religious buildings have been destroyed in the conflict.  

Pope Francis called on the international community to remember the suffering endured by the people of Myanmar and to take action to stop the violence. He said, “Yet again, we hear the cry of pain of so many people in Myanmar who still lack basic humanitarian aid and who are forced to leave their homes because they are burned down and to escape violence.” 

Over the last couple of years, the pope has repeatedly called for military leaders to stop the violence, release those detained, and seek peace and reconciliation.  

Since last year’s coup, at least 1,900 killings by the military have been reported, nearly one million have been internally displaced, and around 14 million remain in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office.

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