South Asia

Military blockade brings suffering to Myanmar Christians

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s Prime Minister

A blockade by the Myanmar military is bringing suffering to Christians in northern Myanmar.

The Rev Je Di, a Kachin Baptist leader from the town of  Tanai in northern Kachin State told reporters that the military has been restricting deliveries of rice and fuel into the town for months. As a result of the blockade the price of fuel has skyrocketed and food supplies have dwindled.

The impact has been felt most by some 1,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) who took refuge in Tanai after fleeing clashes elsewhere in the state.

Many staying at churches rely on local donors for support, according to the Rev Je Di in an interview with ucanews.com

The blockade is supposedly targeted at Kachin rebel groups, who have been in a long-running conflict with the Myanmar government.

Kachin State is 90 per cent  Christian. The military’s efforts to put down the uprising have displaced thousands of the Kachin ethnic minority.

Churches have been destroyed – and in some cases replaced by Buddhist temples – and soldiers have raped and murdered Christian women.