Armed forces have also demolished about 100 churches and other religious structures. One report says 39 Buddhist monastics have been killed, and 40 imprisoned since the coup began in February of 2021.
Greg Kelley with World Mission says, “They’re going into these villages and destroying them, burning huts to the ground, raping the women, and killing people. We identified about 200 families that our team is working with right now. These people need the basics. They need food, shelter, clothing, blankets, and medicine.”
“We’ve been able to provide for all 200 families. We brought them to safety. Now they’re in a training center that World Mission has established.”
The strategy comes as the anti-coup resistance gains traction in Myanmar, and as many soldiers desert their posts. In fact, an underground network of civilians is helping soldiers and police officers defect from their positions and flee to safety. To fight the military, civilians around the country have organized and armed themselves, often with the help of pre-existing militias.
World Mission has also shared the story of Jesus with these people, many of whom had never heard of Him before. Kelley says, “Our team didn’t even know about these people. They’re part of the Burmese people group, which is the second-largest Buddhist unreached people group in the world. These folks were off the grid, so to speak. And because of these attacks by the government, it’s driven them to find some kind of refuge.”
Pray for an end to the bloodshed in Myanmar. Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort these refugees and give them hope.
The header photo shows members of the Kachin Independence Army, a militia group that operated in Myanmar well before the 2021 coup. (Photo courtesy of Paul Vrieze (VOA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)