12 February 2021

Thousands of Christians fled their homes as the army of Myanmar (Burma) shelled Christian villages of Karen State on Monday 1 February. It was the same day that the army seized political power in a military coup.

The following weekend the Tatmadaw, as the army is called, sent troops in 20 trucks to attack another Karen village in the middle of the night. Thankfully the villagers had fled just hours before.

“We are very concerned, knowing the cruelty of the Tatmadaw. Lord, have mercy on these people,” came the message to Barnabas Fund from one of our project partners on Tuesday (9 February).

Christian villagers, including young children, the elderly and infirm, fled into the inhospitable jungle just hours before military bombardment began

On the run, yet again

For decades the army, representing the Buddhist and ethnic Burman majority, brutally oppressed the Karen and other ethnic minorities, even during the recent years of civilian democratic rule.

A ceasefire agreed in 2012 has been crumbling, especially since December 2020 when the army began attacking villages in Karen State with shells, mortars and grenades. There are many Christians in the Karen ethnic group.

Thousands of Karen people are now hiding in the jungle. Many left in such a hurry that washing still hung to dry and taps were still running.

Helpless, hungry and homeless

The displaced Christians are asking for rice, cooking oil, fish and tarpaulins or any strong plastic sheeting to make some kind of roof over their heads. As small-scale farmers, they can feed themselves in normal times from their rice fields and livestock. But, displaced in the jungle, they are helpless, hungry and homeless.

Displaced Karen Christians desperately need basic essentials including tarpaulins for shelter and food rations to help them survive away from the farms and livestock they were forced to abandon

Barnabas has already sent a first gift to buy food and plastic sheeting for our Karen brothers and sisters, helpless and homeless in the jungle.

Please give now so we can keep helping them.