Ethnic Army Targets Christian Clergy, Churches in Myanmar’s Shan State

Myanmar’s largest non-state army is detaining several Christian clergy members for questioning and destroying churches in its self-proclaimed autonomous areas bordering China and Thailand in Shan state, according to a statement issued by the group.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), a 30,000-strong ethnic armed group comprising the military wing of the United Wa State Party (UWSP), the de facto ruling party of the self-declared Wa state not officially recognized by the Myanmar government, has conducted these activities since Sept. 13, sources said.

“We have heard that the UWSA has called and questioned clergy members about whether they are doing development work or persuading people to convert to Christianity,” said Rev. Soe Naing from the Catholic Clergies Group.

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