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Catholic Church in Loikaw diocese in Myanmar attacked

The Catholic church, a religious structure in the Diocese of Loikaw in Myanmar, was attacked by the junta soldiers on October 13.
Catholic church in the Diocese of Loikaw in Myanmar

The Catholic church, a religious structure in the Diocese of Loikaw in Myanmar, was attacked by the junta soldiers on October 13.

Wilbert Mireh, a Jesuit priest, wrote that the artillery shelling against the church of Immaculate Conception, the four-year-old Catholic church in Phruso town about 20 miles from Loikaw must have been deliberate because, as with many of the Catholic churches in Loikaw Diocese, it was situated in the middle of a large compound.

"The fifth Catholic church in Kayah State, where Loikaw diocese is located, was attacked by the military regime within five months," said the Jesuit priest.

Mireh added, "The parishioners know very well how much of their labor and love has been put into building that beautiful church, standing tall on top of a hill."

"It is very much heartbreaking to see it now being vandalized and desecrated by the godless barbarians," remarked the priest, and continued that "They shall never break our spirits and our determination to bring about justice and truth."

The Jesuit priest informs that for the time being, thousands around the area have to flee the jungle, away from their homes, and they require help.

Dareh, a Dominican priest, said, "People Defense Force (PDF) came to attack the junta soldiers just for a few minutes, but they (soldiers) fired the residential areas aimlessly."

The Dominican priest added that the church on the hill, well separated from other buildings, was purposely fired.

"I had bitter feelings for them (soldiers) since I was young," Dareh.

Zarchi, a Catholic nun from the Congregation of St. Francis Xavier's Sisters, who grew up in the Diocese of Phekhone, in Shan State where conflicts are ongoing, said, "I felt so sad," and "many churches had been damaged."

She continues that many soldiers are residing at the Buddhist monastery and firing from the compound of Pagodas.

The nun expressed what was happening in the area of Moe Byel.

"Buddhists in the conflict areas are still living peacefully while Catholics are fleeing."

In Moe Byel, they all live together, but Catholics are forced to flee, and their houses were burnt.

She assured, "what I said now was not only my voice alone but also the voices of the faithful in the conflict zones."

According to Dareh, the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Loikaw is currently providing medical supplies for the refugees getting sick and in need of medicines.

Catholics are the majority living in the diocese of Phekhone in Shan State and Loikaw in Myanmar. 

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Comments

Sam Daniels, Oct 15 2021 - 9:25am
The Buddha established a religion of compassion and co-existence. For Buddhists, it is a sin even to kill animals, I believe. But how power and politics and hate upset the balance?