Kachin people in northern Burma are praying for God’s help in their war against the repressive military-backed Burmese government, which is a stronger enemy, according to Kachin church leaders.
Fasting and a 24-hour circular prayer service ended at Monday mid-night. It was conducted by the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), the largest Kachin church group, with over 400,000 followers, according to pastors.
The prayer service was held in churches under the KBC inside the country, as well as the controlled-area of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
Rev. Lahpai Shing Rip, Pastor of the Baptist Church in the KIO-capital, Laiza, told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, “It is impossible for us to defeat the Burmese Army, which has much stronger manpower and weapons than we Kachin, without help from Almighty God.”
A special prayer service in Laiza for the triumph of the Kachin revolution and the men and women of the KIO, and its armed-wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), is held on the first Saturday of every month, Rev. Shing Rip said.
It is unusual that KIO/KIA leaders believe they cannot win the battle without God, added the Pastor.
Under the political and military leadership of the KIO/KIA, the Christian minority in Buddhist-dominated Burma has fought against successive Buddhist Burman-led central governments for self-determination, since 1961.
The war began because Kachin State was ruled by the majority ethnic Burmans after the Union of Burma received independence from the British in 1948.
After a 17 year ceasefire failed to result in a political solution, the Burmese government, led by ex-general, U Thein Sein, began a military offensive against the KIO/KIA on June 9, aimed at the elimination of the Kachin people.