Rebels Destroy Churches, Shave Pastors' Heads

Internally displaced people take shelter in a church in Myitkyina while Myanmar's military is still fighting the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Internally displaced people take shelter in a church in Myitkyina while Myanmar's military is still fighting the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). (REUTERS/Ann Wang)

A group of rebels has set its sights on Burmese Christians in a fresh series of attacks, with devastating results. Over the past couple of weeks, Ethnic Wa rebels have shut down churches, destroyed religious buildings and even shaved the heads of local pastors.

The communist United Wa State Army (UWSA), Myanmar's largest ethnic rebel force, launched the assaults in Shan state, according to Morning Star News.

"We confirmed that at least 12 churches have been destroyed or closed as of Sept. 20," said one church leader of the latest spree of attacks.

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