Four people were killed and more than eight injured in an attack on a church in Loikaw, Kayah State, Myanmar, on Sunday 23 May.
The Myanmar Army (also known as the Tatmadaw) launched artillery and used small arms in their offensive against the church.
The building was full of civilians, mainly women and children, taking shelter from ongoing fighting between the Tatmadaw and resistance groups.
“They were not armed,” read a statement from church leaders in Myanmar, “they were inside the church to protect their families. Every heart in this country weeps for the death of the innocent people.”
The incident comes amidst ongoing tensions in Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the Tatmadaw seized power in a military coup on 1 February.
Earlier this month thousands of civilians were forced to flee Mindat, a mountainous town in the majority-Christian state of Chin, after it came under bombardment from the Myanmar Army.
The Tatmadaw has for many years persecuted the Christian-majority Chin, Kachin, and Karen ethnic groups as well as the Muslim-majority Rohingya.