Christians are being attacked and targeted in Myanmar according to a new report from Amnesty International.
The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, also said in a recent report that the army may have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Christian persecution charity Open Doors has welcomed the report and Julia Bicknell, who analyses the research behind Open Doors' annual World Watch List told Premier there are things that can be done to help the civilians.
Bricknell said: “We’ve seen firm evidence of attacks against un-armed civilians in the predominantly Christian state of Kachin via social media.
“I think we can be petitioning government, we can be writing to local MPs, to say essentially, don't forget Myanmar, in the preoccupation with Ukraine or other attacks, such as violent attacks that have been happening just recently in Nigeria, Myanmar is a sort of silent civil war going on, that we've pretty well forgotten about.
“So I think we need to remind our politicians that we owe Myanmar at least a debt because it used to be part of the British Empire in during the Second World War.”
While Myanmar’s Christian civilians are not attacked solely because of their faith, they are often considered to be collaborators with armed groups that oppose the military. They are suspects because of their actions such as meeting together (for worship) and sheltering of refugees in churches, as well as their ethnic background.
Bricknell went onto explain a particular shocking attack against Christians in Myanmar in which vehicles were stopped and 35 men, women and children inside were all killed - and their bodies burned.
Bricknell explained it was perhaps deliberately timed for Christmas Eve so as to traumatise the local Christian community.
She said: “There was even an air strike on Internally Displaced Persons camps, as well as on villages and churches, plus systematic looting before houses were burned.”
Bricknell asked Christians to keep Myanmar in their prayers: “The Christian minorities have been appealing for, again, decades for more awareness of, of the Western world and the international community.
“So I know that they would obviously, really covet our prayers.”