Two youth pastors were beaten and bloodied at the hands of the Myanmar militia while trying to protect Christian homes from being destroyed.
Morning Star News reported that the two youth pastors, members of the Kachin Baptist Convention, were kicked and beaten with rifles by members of the army-based Border Guard Force on July 31.
The pastors were protesting against the destruction of homes of predominantly Christian Kachin people in Sadon village, Waingmaw Township.
The Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, secretary of the KBC, identified the two pastors as Mading Zaidan Bawm Ying and Lagyi Naw Awn, revealing that the former’s wife was also beaten.
“His mouth was injured, and blood came out from his mouth as he was punched and hit,” Samson said.
“His face was bruised. His wife was also dragged and beaten by the soldiers.”
He explained that Bawm Ying was taken to a military base, and was held until Aug. 1, before KBC officials managed to negotiate his release.
“We asked the militia’s leaders to make sure that the soldiers don’t use guns to attack civilians in the future. So their leaders promised that they won’t do this again,” he said.
Bawm Ying’s wife, whose first name was not provided, said BGF members destroyed villagers’ fences.
She also said she was “dragged and punched twice in my jaw. They also punched Pastor Lagyi Naw Awn, who came to handle the case. Two soldiers held my husband against the wall, and their leader punched him wholeheartedly. I saw him vomiting blood.”
An investigative report by Sky News in June revealed that the minority Christian Kachin people are being targeted in a “second genocidal campaign” in the Buddhist-majority country that is also known as Burma.
Myanmar drew the world’s attention last year when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya people fled the country due to violence committed by the army in Rakhine state. Many human rights activists labeled the atrocities as a “genocide.”
While the army is said to have scaled back its efforts in the Rakhine state, the country has transferred many of those same military units to the Kachin state.
Bob Roberts, the founder of the Northwood Church in Keller, Texas, recently returned from Myanmar and reported that the army has ramped up its attacks on the Kachin people, destroying dozens of churches and committing murder and rape.
Locals said that they have been stranded in thick jungles, having to flee the heavy artillery bombing from the central army.
“I am convinced the Burmese government is trying to ethnically cleanse the Kachin people,” said one mother of four by the name of Lashi Ókawn Ja.
“Whenever they see Kachin people they try to kill us and they rape the women, even the women who are pregnant,” she said.
General Sumlut Gunmaw, vice president of the Kachin Independence Council, noted, “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.”