After almost 6 years of relative peace, the fighting between Kokang rebels and the government in the Myanmar-China border reemerged, killing 47 soldiers, dozens of rebels and has left 90% of civilians displaced.
Rokha*, a local source, says one pastor and his church of 170 believers had to flee to neighboring town 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 are 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 in her flight. “She died from a car accident as she tried to escape the fighting in her village,” Rokha continues. “She was buried in Lasho today.”
The conflict commenced on February 9th, hindering any further steps towards 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 in combat.
Please join us in prayer for the safety of the 170 believers and all other civilians caught in between the fighting. We ask for the Lord’s wisdom to be upon Myanmar’s government as they deal with the escalating conflict.
Myanmar is ranked No. 25 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
Compiled by Janelle Powers. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.
*Pseudonym used for the individual’s protection