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Day of prayer for displaced Kachins

Army attacks on villages continue, more than 20,000 now forced out of homes

Day of prayer for displaced Kachins
Kachin refugees flee their homes and livestock due to the fighting reporters, Mandalay and Yangon

October 6, 2011

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The diocese of Banmaw is dedicating a day of prayer to Kachin State people who have been displaced as a result of continuing fighting in the region, said Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam yesterday. The bishop said that since the fighting began, the church urged all the parishioners to pray. “We are very concerned for the future of the displaced people there so we nominate October 9 as a day of prayer and we will give our special attention to them.” According to rights groups, more than 20,000 civilians have been displaced as a result of a renewed offensive by the Myanmar government in Kachin State. Bishop Raymond said this was a way to show “solidarity” with those who have been forced to move out of their homes in the conflict, in which the army is allegd to be repeatedly attacking Kachin villages. The bishop told all the parishes to conduct the prayer day and collect contributions from parishioners for those affected. As well as praying, the Church is helping with tents and other items. Fr Paul Lahpai Aung Dang, director of Karuna Banmaw Social Service (KBSS), said that the Church had set up camps for the displaced people, given them shelter and supported them with food and non-food items, water and light. Priests, religious nuns and volunteers from Banmaw diocese are helping with children's education and health care. Fr. Aung Dang said: “The Church has tried to help more than one thousand schoolchildren in boarding schools and convents and is hiring teachers so that the children can continue their studies.” Related reports: Army steps up Kachin campaign Churches help refugees fleeing fighting Church increases Kachin refugee aid

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