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Alleged War Crimes Against Christians

Senior General Min Aung HlaingSenior General Min Aung Hlaing
Min Aung Hlaing
Photo: Wikipedia / (cc)

Five Christians, who have been victims of persecution as a result of Myanmar's military dictatorship, recently filed a war crimes complaint in a Philippines court. Although these believers were originally from Chin state, they have emigrated to Australia, Britain, Canada and India. The alleged victims argue that a 2009 Philippine law obligates the country to prosecute war crimes committed elsewhere under the principle of universal jurisdiction.

The perpetrators named in this complaint include the head of Myanmar's ruling military council, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, eight of his military commanders and a state minister. The complainants filed the request for prosecution on October 25th, and the government prosecutors have 90 days to either approve or dismiss the complaint.

The complaint states that members of Myanmar's military killed a pastor and two church elders in the town of Thantlang during September 2021. It also accuses the military of directing attacks against churches, and burning hundreds of houses that were located within the same town, between August 2021 and June 2022. In a press release, one of the plaintiffs, Salai Ling, stated: "We are a Christian people whose pastors are being murdered and whose churches and faith-based schools are being destroyed in a systematic campaign by junta forces. With this persecution of Myanmar's Christians continuing, we pray that our brothers and sisters in the Philippines will hear our cry and grant us justice."

Though the action taken by these Christians is unique, it demonstrates the desperation of the numerous survivors who were affected by the atrocities. Since the military coup seized control of the country in February 2021, at least 4,155 people have been killed, and more than 19,600 remain in detention. Many of the attacks specifically targeted Christians under the guise of uprooting rebel forces. For more reports on the persecution of believers in Myanmar, along with ways you can help, go to our country report.

Prayerfully uphold all those who are involved in this court action, including the prosecutors of this case, as well as the governmental leaders of the Philippines, asking the Lord to provide them wisdom and guidance. May He also work mightily in the hearts of those presently ruling over Myanmar, in hopes they will understand the serious ramifications of their destructive actions and turn to Him in sincere repentance. Also pray for the ongoing ministry of church congregations throughout Myanmar, that these persecuted followers of Christ will receive encouragement, strength and provision so they can faithfully meet the spiritual and practical needs of others in this war-torn country.

  • Current Ministry Projects

    VOMC partners with a seminary in Myanmar which is committed to teaching foundational Biblical truths and practical ministry opportunities to ensuring that students are well-equipped and prepared for Christian ministry.

    Project Funds: Relief and Development, Equipping the Saints

  • Country Information


    57,069,099 (July 2021 est.)

    Ethnicity (%)
    Burman (68), Shan (9), Karen (7), Rakhine (4), Chinese (3), Indian (2), Mon (2), Other (5)

    Religion (%)
    Buddhism (87.9), Christianity (6.2), Islam (4.3), other (1.6)

    Prime Minister Min Aund Hlaing (August 2021) - self-appointed

    Government type
    Parliamentary republic

    Legal system
    Mixed legal system of English common law

    Source: CIA World Factbook

  • Pray for Myanmar

    Pray that the newly elected civilian government will respect the religious freedoms of all its citizens – including the followers of Jesus. Ask God to prove Himself victorious over the longstanding abuses in Burma, and to demonstrate His transforming power by bringing many more to salvation. May He bless and multiply the evangelistic efforts of the seminary students and graduates, granting them divine appointments with people who are silently yearning for the truth of the Gospel.

Myanmar News

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  • Terrorism Charges Filed Against Detained Church Leader
    Dr. Samson speaking publicly.Dr. Samson speaking publicly.
    Rev. Dr. Samson
    Photo: VOMC Contacts

    On December 5th, a prominent Christian leader of the Kachin Baptist Convention, Dr. Hkalam Samson, was arbitrarily arrested at the airport as he was boarding a flight to Bangkok for medical treatment. (For details on Dr. Samson's arrest, go to this page.) In the weeks that followed, his concerned family members were forbidden visitation. They were also not allowed to provide the 65-year-old Christian man any food or medication, raising more concerns about his ongoing health needs.

  • Pre-Registration Required to Attend Services
    A church surrounded by bushes and treesA church surrounded by bushes and trees
    Judson Baptist Church
    Photo: Graham Norton

    Military authorities in Chin State, Myanmar, announced on February 13th that Christians residing within areas governed under martial law will be forced to register with township administrators seven days in advance of attending any church services. No information about the form of punishment that will be administered to those failing to comply had been provided at that time.

  • Military Destroys Churches
    Men and women praying.Men and women praying.
    A Bible training class in Myanmar.
    Photo: VOMC

    As Myanmar's military increasingly launches deadly airstrikes in an effort to crush rebel resistance, those residing in predominantly Christian regions are subjected to indiscriminate attacks. In many cases of similar attacks during recent years, Christians were especially affected, for churches and other religious institutions seem to have been specifically targeted.