Myanmar (formerly Burma) is in the midst of one of the cruelest genocides in recent history as Burmese government officials carry out mass annihilation of Rohingya Muslims.
Not only have they been trying to eradicate the country of the Rohingya, but new reports suggest a Burmese military-led “secret cleanse” of Christian Kachin people, a minority group in Myanmar, according to The Christian Post.
As Faithwire reported back in November 2017, “More than 611,000 Rohingya people facing persecution in Myanmar have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, according to the latest data collected by the United Nations. In a survey of 517,643 of them, the U.N. refugee agency found that one-third are vulnerable.”
But it has only recently been discovered that the Burmese military is also targeting Christians in the country.
According to the latest investigative report released by Sky News, locals call it the “second genocidal campaign” in Myanmar, as the genocide sweeps the country’s remote Kachin state.
The reason the mass slaughter has been hidden for so long is partially due to the fact that Myanmar does not allow journalists or aid groups to travel to the Buddhist-majority country. Now, the world is beginning to see why.
The Kachin people, an ethnic minority, have been facing a slow genocide brought on by the Burmese military, which has been done successfully in secret until now.
The Kachin people have tried to break from Myanmar countless times, after facing intense persecution from the Myanmar military. They’ve even created private armies to protect them from their own government, one being the Kachin Independent Army.
A team of Sky News investigators were recently able to successfully enter the country, where they were exposed to the brutal conditions the Kachin people have been living in.
When they spoke to the locals, they were told that the persecution they are seeing from the Myanmar government is only increasing and becoming worse.
They estimate that the genocide started in August and has already taken countless lives, causing an additional 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations has deemed the situation a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
The Sky News team reported that the Kachin people have been forced to leave their homes and flee to other countries, or the jungles. The Kachin people are predominantly Christians, who are being targeted by the government for their faith.
“I am convinced the Burmese government is trying to ethnically cleanse the Kachin people,” Lashi Ókawn Ja, a mother of four, told Sky News.
“Whenever they see Kachin people they try to kill us and they rape the women, even the women who are pregnant,” she added.
General Sumlut Gunmaw, vice president of the Kachin Independence Council, argued that the Myanmar government is trying to completely eliminate the Kachin people, who pose a giant threat for them.
“Maybe their actions against us are not so sudden as their violence against the Rohingya, but their intentions are just the same. They want to eliminate us,” he said.
Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that follows Christian persecution around the world, ranks Myanmar at No. 24.
Hundreds of thousands of the Kachin people have been displaced across the hemisphere, some even forced to live in prison camps. Not only are they being driven out of their homes, but afterwards they are commonly forced to go without basic necessities like food.
Open Doors has warned of these types of persecution in the Southeast Asian country area before, specifically warning of various Buddhist movements that target Christians. Ma Ba Tha, one of the larger Buddhist movements, aims to intimidate Christians with violence and social ostracism.
Although many do not know about the genocide taking place against Christians in Myanmar, major news outlets are starting to report on it.
The Guardian was one of the first to report on the Myanmar Christian genocide taking place, calling it a “slow genocide. ”
San Htoi, a human rights activist and the joint secretary of Kachin Women’s Association Thailand, calls the genocide an “invisible war.” She blames international media for not shedding more light on the violence. She also thinks that the focus has been primarily on the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, which has taken any type of spotlight off the heartbreaking situation taking place in Kachin.
Many organizations have traveled to Myanmar to raise awareness about the horrific violence taking place against the Rohingya, but so far, very little has been done to aid Kachin Christians.
In April, the Faith Coalition to End Genocide was founded in Myanmar by Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy in order to raise awareness of the travesty.
Muslim imam Malik Mujahid, one of the Faith Coalition to End Genocide organizers, stated that every single week around 500 to 600 Rohingya refugees arrive at the coalition’s refugee camps.
“I asked people multiple times why they came,” Mujahid stated, as reported by The Christian Post. “They said, ‘Well, they shot us.’ In some cases, the village chair told them to leave or they heard that neighboring villages are being attacked. Women say that their neighbors were raped, so they left.”
Please join Faithwire in spreading awareness of this injustice and praying for the religious minorities facing persecution in Myanmar and around the world.
(H/T: The Christian Post)