Myanmar Catholic church and convent attacked by Tatmadaw
12/11/2021 Burma (International Christian Concern) – The Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Pekhon, Shan state in Myanmar, was attacked by military fire from Tatmadaw on Tuesday, November 9. The windows and pews of the church were damaged by the attack, but there were no human casualties. The attack was carried out by the Myanmar military junta, which seeks to dominate the local militias. This is not the first time that this cathedral has been attacked by military fire. In June, the cathedral was also attacked by the same forces.
This attack occurred three days after a similar attack on a convent in the same commune, the Convent of the Sisters of Zetaman, located in Pekhon in the Marian shrine Jeroblous. Likewise, no casualties occurred in this attack. The township of Pekhon, where both the cathedral and the convent are located, has experienced more than 10,000 residents’ displacements due to the ongoing militancy of the Tatmadaw. Among the worst affected areas in Myanmar are the Diocese of Pekhon, as well as the Diocese of Loikaw in Kayah State.
The Tatmadaw has been wreaking havoc in Myanmar since February, when a coup overthrew the democratic government of Aung San Suu Kyi. As of April 12, 2021, more than 700 civilians had been killed by Tatmadaw gunfire and more than 3,070 people had been arrested. Christians have been particularly vulnerable to hostility from the Tatmadaw, although this is not the first time they have been targeted. In the past, Christians suffered during civil war and were persecuted by the military. Time will tell if the Tatmadaw can be diplomatically reasoned in order to spare the lives of innocent Christians and, following Pope Francis’ call, to stop targeting religious sites.
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