Guardian reports on Myanmar’s invisible war on Kachin Christians

Children at the St. Joseph camp for displaced people in Kachin State, northern Myanmar, October 2013.
Children at the St. Joseph camp for displaced people in Kachin State, northern Myanmar, October 2013.

On 14 May the Christian aid agency Barnabas Fund reported, “We are pleased to see the mainstream media are covering the plight of the predominantly Christian Kachin, another persecuted ethnic minority in Myanmar. Let’s pray that the world wakes up to the increasing religious persecution in SE Asia.” Here at etimasthe we concur.

Their statement came in a Facebook post here, and was referring to a very well-written and informative piece in the Guardian describing — from the ground — the situation faced by the Kachin people.

“Political analyst and writer Stella Naw says despite the bloodshed the Kachin war still doesn’t draw international attention: ‘It’s a war where civilians are being systematically targeted by members of Burma Army … [yet] the international community chooses to overlook it.’”

The Guardian, 14 May 2018

The Myanmar military has been steadily bombing Kachin villages, killing many innocent civilians and causing many to flee into the jungle where they are trapped in the middle of conflict zones.

And yet the plight of the Kachin people has been — and in fact still is — disgracefully under-reported in the UK media. As Christians wanting to pray for the plight of our brothers and sisters, we are reliant on news outlets such as the Barnabas Fund to tell us the truth about what is happening around the world — which is more often than not ignored by the mainstream media. (Barnabas Fund reported this on 10 May.)

So we welcome the Guardian’s article and hope that it raises the profile of this tragic human catastrophe.

I suspect that many people in the UK have the default assumption that Christianity is a merely Western thing. It’s the historical religion of Europe and of North America, and really isn’t what anybody in places like South-East Asia believe. So the Guardian’s article is all the more welcome if it opens the eyes of people in the UK to the fact that there are millions of Christians the world over, in parts of the world we think of as Communist, Islamic, Buddhist, tribal, etc. In many ways they don’t look like us, they are culturally very different from us; and yet they believe the same things that Christians believe in the West (a wonderful truth in itself).

As the Barnabas Fund says, let us pray that reporting such as this really does wake the world up to the sufferings of those who believe in Jesus everywhere.

(If you wish to donate to the relief of the Kachin people, you can do so through Barnabas Fund here.)



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