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Burma’s Christian Civilians Attacked During Christmas
Posted on: Friday, January 13, 2012

Attacks on Christians in Burma continued into the Christmas season in Kachin state as Burmese Army troops killed a civilian and destroyed church property. That despite President Thein Sein's order to stop the war against insurgents, reports Jeremy Reynalds, Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service.

According to story by Compass Direct News (CDN), a Baptist church in Loije, Bhamo district, held a funeral on Dec. 27 for Maran Zau Ja, 47. He was shot dead without provocation by the Burmese Army 's Light Infantry Battalion No. 321 on Christmas Day, a Kachin source told Compass by phone.

CDN said Zau Ja was a farmer who was returning from his sugarcane field with a friend when troops sprayed bullets at them. His friend survived the gunshots. The two were unarmed insurgents of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization.

CDN said the KIA has fought for autonomy in the Christian-majority state since the early 1960's, when then-Burmese Prime Minister U Nu made Buddhism the state religion.

CDN reported that about 90 percent of the roughly 56 million people in Burma, also known as Myanmar, are Buddhist, mostly from the Burman ethnic group. Burmese soldiers see “all Kachin civilians as the enemy,” the Kachin News Group recently quoted a Kachin village elder as saying.

On Dec. 16, troops of Light Infantry Battalion No. 142 burned a building housing the kitchen of a Baptist church in Dingga village, also in Bhamo district, CDN said the source added. KIA men and local villagers managed to save the church building, but the fire engulfed five homes.

Earlier, on Nov. 30, CDN said, Burmese soldiers killed a woman and injured six villagers as they fired mortar shells targeting civilians in Tarlawgyi area in Waingmaw Township.

For more information about Compass Direct News go to www.compassdirect.org

Source: www.christiantelegraph.com

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