Shan State Catholic Church desecrated by junta

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17/09/2022 Burma (International Christian Concern) – The Burma Army (Tatmadaw) continues to target churches as it battles local resistance forces in Christian-majority states.

As intense fighting between the army and local defense forces took place last week, a Catholic church in southern Shan state became the latest casualty as Tatmadaw soldiers besieged the holy place, used it as a kitchen and planted landmines around the building.

According to local Catholics, the junta occupied the Church of the Mother of God in Mobye, a predominantly Catholic town in southern Shan state, for a few days before withdrawing from the church this week at the following losses in fierce fighting with the local defense forces.

UCA News reports that dirty floors and dust-covered pews along with cooking pots and military uniforms were seen inside the church based on a viral video posted on social media by local defense forces. Parishioners were asked not to approach the church because the army had laid mines nearby.

“The damage done to the church which is a holy place of God is the result of being attacked by the devil”, said an exiled Myanmar priest on Facebook.

“It’s so sad to see and it’s like destroying our hearts”, said a lay Catholic.

After the coup staged last February, the Buddhism-centric Tatmadaw repeatedly occupied churches to prevent attacks by local defense forces while hurting the emotions of Christians, many of whom were forced to flee their home.

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