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Myanmar: Christian pastor shot dead as military intensifies attacks in predominantly Christian region

In Myanmar, as elsewhere in Asia, Christianity is viewed as a foreign religion that threatens the integrity of the culture. Christians make up about 8.2 percent of the population of Myanmar. Most of these Christians are Protestants, with Roman Catholics comprising most of the rest; there is, however, a small community of Christians who belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, which broke communion with Holy Orthodoxy after the fourth ecumenical council, the Council of Chalcedon in 451, over its definition of the two natures of Christ, divine and human. Also, 13th century inscriptions in Greek have been discovered in Myanmar, indicating that there may have once been a Greek Orthodox presence there.

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

“Baptist pastor shot dead in Myanmar,” UCA News, September 20, 2021:

A Baptist pastor has been shot dead in Myanmar’s battle-ravaged Chin state as the military intensifies attacks on civilians in the predominantly Christian region.

The latest military attack led to at least 19 houses being destroyed by artillery fire in Thantlang township, Chin state, on Sept. 18 following fighting with local resistance groups.

Pastor Cung Biak Hum, 31, was shot by soldiers while he was on the way to help put out a fire in a house hit by the shelling, according to Christian sources.

The Chin Baptist Convention (CBC) has condemned the attack on civilian houses, the killing of the pastor and removing his finger to steal a wedding ring by the military, saying such acts were “shocking and horrible.”

“The military’s attack on church buildings, occupying churches and destroying church property, and bombing civilians’ homes is an insult to the religion and the believers,” the CBC said in a Sept. 19 statement.

Tom Andrews, UN special rapporteur on Myanmar, tweeted: “The murder of a Baptist minister and bombing of homes in Chin state are the latest examples of the living hell being delivered daily by junta forces against the people of Myanmar. The world needs to pay close attention. More importantly, the world needs to act.”…

Catholic and Baptist churches in Chin state, an impoverished region, were targeted by the military in July and August as soldiers camped in the churches and destroyed church property.

A Baptist church was hit by artillery shelling in Thantlang on Sept. 14 while the military also attacked civilian homes that led to several people being injured, according to Chin state-based media….

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