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5/24/2024 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) In Kachin state, Northern Myanmar, military forces detained dozens of Christian leaders, pastors, and youth on Thursday on suspicion of aiding rebel forces in the country’s ongoing civil war.

Radio Free Asia Burmese reported that roughly 100 soldiers initially detained more than 200 villagers in a school, where they were threatened and interrogated. Some were beaten, including local Christian leaders. The soldiers released the villagers after nearly nine hours of questioning about their ties to the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) and other anti-Junta militias.  

In recent months, two pastors were murdered, and numerous Christians have been harassed and beaten in Kachin state, which has a large Christian population. 

According to the 2020 Burmese Population and Housing Census Report, about 34% of Kachin state’s 1.6 million residents are Christians. Some advocacy groups estimate that that number is closer to two-thirds of the state’s population.  

The KIA has been hugely successful in Northern Myanmar recently, capturing and defeating several military junta camps. Subsequently, the junta forces are actively raiding Kachin villages, seeking information on KIA forces.  

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