June 17, 2014
Systematic Torture of a Christian Minority…
Why We Should Care and What We Can Do
By Brittany Tedesco
Somewhere around a year ago, a doctor from Myanmar (Burma) who now lives in the United States came to our chapel meeting. He belongs to the Kachin people, an ethnic minority who suffers immense oppression from the Myanmar Army.
Since 2011, more than 110,000 Kachin have been run out of their villages, huddling together in 165 camps with little to no basic necessities while Myanmar Army planes fly overhead dropping bombs on the camps. Tens of thousands more have fled across the border to China…but in 2012, China forced them back to Myanmar.
This month marks the third anniversary of the conflict between the Myanmar government soldiers and the Kachin people, the majority of whom identify themselves as Christians.
Fortify Rights just published a detailed report on this issue because they believe the abuses perpetrated against the ethnic Kachin people constitute crimes against humanity.
So you didn’t have to, yours truly read through it and has summarized it nicely here:
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Although, in some cases, it appears the Myanmar Army is trying to elicit information about KIA soldiers from civilians, the majority of the attacks and torture seem directly related to the Kachin’s ethnicity and Christian identity. According to the Fortify Rights report, one of the men who was beaten and forced to lick his blood off the ground stated that a Myanmar soldier said “You are Kachin, you are Christian, but you are surrounded by Buddhists. Why are you so different from us!”
Christian Aid Mission supports several indigenous ministries in Myanmar that are helping this persecuted minority by caring for Kachin war orphans and providing aid to the churches in the Kachin area that are full of internally displaced people.
THE SITUATION SEEMS OVERWHELMING…WILL MY DONATION REALLY DO ANYTHING?
I refer to the Kachin doctor at the beginning of this post. Struck by the plight of his people, he’s flown back to Myanmar many times to give medical aid to the displaced Kachin, in spite of the extreme danger to his own life. Huddled with the refugees under a tent, he tends to the wounded, performing amputations and other major surgeries despite lacking the proper tools, hygienic facilities, and medicine—even anesthesia.
The doctor told us he’d collapsed into bed one day after working on dozens of injured people. The next morning he called the camp to ask how many of his patients had died the night before. “None,” came the response. None died? In a dirty tent without proper medication? Okay…he then asked how many of them had infections. “None,” came the answer. None? In such unsanitary conditions with such inadequate materials and equipment? The odds of this occurring, the doctor told us, were absolutely improbable. It was a miracle.
God took his willingness to give of himself, and “multiplied” his gift. I’m convinced He’ll do the same for anyone who gives by faith, trusting Him to do the rest.