More Churches in Thantlang Burned Down by the Junta

12/30/2021 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Although the town in Christian-majority Chin state is now deserted after four months of intense fighting, and hundreds of houses have been burned to the ground, the Burmese Army (Tatmadaw) continues to set houses and churches in Thantlang on fire.

According to Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), on December 30, the Assembly of God Church and one of the Thantlang Association of Baptist Churches’ buildings were burned down by the Tatmadaw along with more than 50 structures.  Light Infantry Battalion 222, 269, and Light Infantry Division 66 are to be blamed for the arson fires, which started from four different blocks and lasted for nearly nine hrs.

Drone footage shot by CHRO also shows fires raging inside buildings, charred churches, collapsed schools, and ruined homes. Associated Press reports that the Tatmadaw is again employing a tactic of destroying entire villages where there may be support for the opposition. Satellite imagery the AP obtained from Maxar Technologies shows that more than 580 buildings have been burned in the northwestern town of Thantlang alone since September.

In the meantime, a 16-yr-old youth, arrested on Christmas eve while visiting a prayer mount in Chin state’s capital Hakha, was being paraded yesterday by Tatmadaw soldiers on the streets to identify townsfolk suspected of anti-junta activities. Another teenager is held incommunicado and might be tortured under LIB 266 custody.

The atrocities committed by the Tatmadaw against churches and civilians should never be tolerated, and the international community ought to take effective measures to stop the junta before more innocent lives are lost.

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