After nearly 6 years of relative peace, the fighting broke out between the Kokang rebels and the government along the Myanmar-China border on February 17th, killing 47 soldiers and dozens of rebels, and leaving 90% of the local civilians displaced.
Rokha*, a local source, says one pastor and his church of 170 believers had to flee to the neighboring town of Lasho for refuge. “The pastor couldn’t call us anymore. I couldn’t get in touch with him, but a friend from northern Shan State told me they’re renting a big hall to stay in temporarily. Please pray that they would have enough provisions.”
A 23-year-old believer from the Wa tribe, a nurse, died as she attempted to flee. “She died from a car accident as she tried to escape the fighting in her village,” Rokha* continued. “She was buried in Lasho today.”
The conflict has hindered any further steps toward peace between the administration and the ethnic minorities. Deutsche Welle reports that the Kokang rebels, collectively known as the Myanmar Democratic National Alliance Army (MNDAA), have been joined by other rebel groups, such as the Kachin Independence Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army, and the Shan State Army-North
Father, we lift our hands in prayer today for believers and other civilians caught in the crossfire of the fighting in Myanmar. We pray that You will keep them safe and provide shelter and food for those who have been displaced. We pray for Your comfort to surround those who have lost loved ones in the fighting. Grant Your wisdom, Father, to the government as they seek ways to stop the escalation of conflict. We pray for peace to return to this nation; that the tribes will find ways to work with the government and that all violence and bloodshed will cease. And we pray for a revival of saving faith to move across the land, and that the peace of Christ might redeem their hearts and minds. In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, Amen.