The whereabouts of two Kachin pastors who disappeared on Christmas Eve in the northern Shan State town of Mong Ko, Myanmar (Burma), remains unknown, after they were summoned by the army.
The two pastors had helped journalists from report on the situation in Mong Ko, the site of recent heavy fighting between the Burmese Army and a coalition of ethnic armed groups. The pastors are affiliated with the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), the largest church group operating among the largely Christian Kachin community.
Zau Ra, a KBC official, told The Irrawaddy that, although his organisation was very concerned for the safety of his missing colleagues, the current security situation in Mong Ko has prevented them from searching for the pair.
“No one dares to go and search for them. So, we do not know what their condition is,” said Zau Ra.
According to Zau Ra, army officials stationed in Mong Ko summoned the pair in order to assist in the release of local people who had been detained at a hill base in Mong Ko. The two have not been seen since they left for the appointment.
“We have witnesses and we know what they went for. But, no one has dared to talk to the army about it,” said Zau Ra, who added that the disappearance was difficult to understand.
“They have no enemies, they get along with everyone. I saw them enjoying time with [government] troops during the harvest festival before the clashes. I was surprised that they went missing.”
Located near the China-Burma border, Mong Ko was the scene of heavy fighting between the Burmese Army and Northern Alliance forces in late November. The Northern Alliance held the town briefly and captured the leader of a local pro-government militia, in what was seen as a major embarrassment for the military. Heavy bombardment from government forces eventually dislodged the Northern Alliance from Mong Ko.
The UN has estimated that the recent fighting in and around Mong Ko has forced as many as 15,000 people to flee to China.
- Pray for the two pastors, for their protection at this time and for their whereabouts to be made known to their families and churches. Pray that they will soon return safely to their families.
- Pray for peace for their families as they wait for news about the pastors.
- Pray for the security situation in Kachin State. Thousands have left homes and villages amidst reports of atrocities by the Burmese army. Pray for an end to the fighting, for and for peace in this northern state of Myanmar.
- Pray that the government of Myanmar will intervene in this state, and will recognise the Rohingya people as legitimate citizens of their country.
- Pray for Christians in Myanmar, for their protection, for strength and perseverance of faith, and for the light of their faith to be a beacon of hope to many who have lost homes and loved ones in the recent fighting.
Psalm 91 vs 14 – 15: “Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble,“
Source: http://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma, http://www.persecution.org/2017