A blockade enforced by the Burmese military has caused added suffering to numerous Christians in the northern state of Kachin. According to Rev. Je Di, a church leader from the town of Tanai, the military has been restricting deliveries of rice and fuel into the town for months. As a result, the price of fuel has skyrocketed and food supplies have dwindled.
The impact has been felt the greatest by approximately one thousand internally displaced people who have sought refuge in Tanai after fleeing political clashes elsewhere in the state. Many of those staying at churches must now rely on local donors for support.
The blockade was supposedly meant to target Kachin rebel groups involved in a long-standing conflict with the Burmese government. However, during the conflict, ruthless soldiers have destroyed churches and committed grievous human rights violations against many innocent civilians of the state -- the majority of whom are Christians -- including the rape and murder of women. Additional reports on the persecution of believers in Burma are available here.
After so much conflict and suffering in Burma's Kachin state, may the "Prince of Peace," who promises to be especially near to the brokenhearted, make His comforting and healing presence known. During this time of uncertainty and lack, pray that these displaced and abused victims will be divinely led by God's Holy Spirit to an oasis of protection and abundant provision. May His people also be reassured of the fact that although they have been forced to flee their earthly residences, they are truly royal citizens of a more lasting eternal home in the Lord's Heavenly Kingdom which far surpasses anything this world has to offer (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 13:14).