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Myanmar: Catholic church damaged in airstrike by military

In Myanmar as elsewhere in Asia, Christianity is generally considered to be an alien faith.

Christians make up about 8.2 percent of the population of Myanmar. The overwhelming majority of these are Protestants, with Roman Catholics comprising most of the rest; there is, however, a small community of Armenian Orthodox Christians, and 13th century inscriptions in Greek indicate that there may have once been a Greek Orthodox presence there. 

For more ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Myanmar, see here.

“Catholic church damaged in airstrike by Myanmar military,” UCA News, March 9, 2022:

A Catholic church in Kayah state has sustained major damage in an airstrike by Myanmar’s military.

The ceiling and windows of the Our Lady of Fatima Church in Saun Du La village in Demoso township were severely damaged, said church sources.

Myanmar’s military junta has continued targeting churches and civilians in Christian strongholds like Kayah state, ignoring calls by church leaders to protect their places of worship.

Local sources said a military aircraft bombed the church around 2am on March 8 assuming it was sheltering people fleeing the ongoing conflict.

“As there was no ongoing armed conflict in that area, it was clearly a deliberate and planned attack against the Catholic Church and innocent civilians to maximize the human death toll and annihilate the religion,” a priest said.

Eight Catholic churches have been hit by artillery shelling and airstrikes by Myanmar’s military in Loikaw Diocese since the conflict between military and rebel forces erupted in May 2021.

The worst attack was reported from Sacred Heart Church in Kanyantharyear, a village near Loikaw, on May 23, 2021, that left four Catholics dead and eight others wounded in artillery shelling.

Catholic bishops have called for humanitarian assistance to help the thousands of internally displaced persons.

“Human dignity and the right to life can never be compromised,” said the bishops in a Jan. 14 letter that demanded “respect for life, respect for the sanctity of sanctuary in places of worship, hospitals and schools.”

Some 16 parishes out of 38 in Loikaw Diocese have been abandoned by priests, nuns and parishioners who have fled to safe areas following intensified fighting….

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