One might readily connect words like “refugees” and “war” to the Syrians, the Rohingya people, or the South Sudanese.
In fact, besides the Rohingya refugee crisis in Rakhine State of Myanmar, another 200,000 people in the country were forced to be internally displaced from Kachin State in the north, Shan State in north-east, and Kayin State in south-east due to unceasing armed conflicts. The United Nations estimated that close to 172,000 individuals in these three states need humanitarian aid. Unfortunately, humanitarian effort is limited due to safety concern or inaccessibility in non-government-controlled areas.
A 72-year-old pastor partnering with a younger pastor to visit the refugees
[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2017 ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
The Myanmar government and the anti-government forces were at war for the past 10 years. As the conflict was reinitiated in 2016, the estimated number of internally displaced population has reached 660,000. The conflicts in Kachin State alone forced close to 100,000 to flee to Yunnan, China.
[ ‘SHARE’ Sept-Oct 2013 – Myanmar – A Beam after the War Flame ] FOCUS ~ Country Development
The Lisu pastor serving the displaced in the camp
Author: Lisa CHAI, Senior Programme Officer
Habakkuk 1: 2- 3
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. (NIV)
For decades the Myanmar government armed forces and opposing non-state armed groups have engaged in armed conflict. The frequent occurrence and brutality of reported human rights violations by these armed forces caused us to cry out like Prophet Habakkuk. Why do the innocent suffer and perish? We ask God to intervene yet violence and abuses prevail. Over the years CEDAR has supported partners operating in conflict affected areas in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, just to name a few. I am reminded by the book of Habakkuk that in face of conflict situation, we may be perplexed yet God is continuing His work. In the midst of violence and destruction, development is possible.
The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) signed a tentative peace agreement with the Myanmar government in late May, the last of the 11 major ethnic armed groups to do so since 2011. Key issues are yet to discuss including how to develop an equitable peace economy and proper regulation and management of Kachin’s rich natural resources. CEDAR partner KLCC has been taking care of displaced families who take shelter at church compounds, school hostel and displaced camps.
Pray for Kachin community in Myanmar:
Pray that the peace agreement will secure lasting peace in the country.
Pray for God’s provision as KLCC start to secure new land to settle displaced families in Government allocated area.
Pray that God to raise up HK churches/Christians to partner with CEDAR to respond to needs in Kachin State.
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