On Saturday, a youth pastor in Myanmar was fatally shot as he tried to save one of his congregants from their burning home after the military set it ablaze.
Twitter user Nyein identified the pastor as Cung Biak Hum of Thantlang Centennial Baptist Church. Nyein also claimed that more than 15 houses were burned down in Chin State’s Thantlang Town.
In pictures, More than 15 houses have been burned down in Chin State’s Thantlang Town, and they cannot stop the fire since 3:30 pm this afternoon.6:40 pm, A man identified as Cung Biak Hum, a Christian youth pastor at Thantlang Centennial Baptist Church was shot dead by the Junta
— Nyein (@Nyein24049716) September 18, 2021
Myanmar, located in Southeast Asia, borders several countries such as India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. On February 1 of this year, the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military, brought the country back under its rule following years of quasi-democracy.
Experts have warned that the coup would result in increased persecution of Christians and other minority groups.
UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews, who also reported on Hum’s death, called on people across the globe to pay “closer attention” to the “living hell” that the people of Myanmar are currently facing.
“The murder of a Baptist minister and bombing of homes in Thantlang, Chin State are the latest examples of the living hell being delivered daily by junta forces against the people of Myanmar,” Andrews tweeted. “The world needs to pay closer attention. More importantly, the world needs to act.”
The murder of a Baptist minister and bombing of homes in Thantlang, Chin State are the latest examples of the living hell being delivered daily by junta forces against the people of Myanmar. The world needs to pay closer attention. More importantly, the world needs to act.
— UN Special Rapporteur Tom Andrews (@RapporteurUn) September 18, 2021
In a statement on Monday, the Baptist World Alliance, a global Christian group representing 49 million Baptists in 126 countries and territories, detailed what happened to Pastor Hum while also calling for the immediate release of another Baptist pastor, the Rev. Thian Lian Sang.
“On September 18, over 19 houses were burned down by military forces,” the statement reads. “Baptist Pastor Rev. Cung Biak Hum attempted to help as one of the houses belonged to a member of his church.
“Instead, upon his arrival on the scene, he was shot and killed by military soldiers — making him the first Baptist minister to die due to the ongoing conflicts,” it added. “The military soldiers also stole his cellphone, watch and cut off his finger in order to steal his wedding ring.”
Hum is survived by his wife and two sons. According to his Facebook page, Hum was pursuing a Master’s of Divinity degree at MIT Yangon.
According to Open Doors USA, Myanmar is ranked number 18 on its list of countries where it is most difficult for Christians to live. The country is driven by the religious nationalism of Buddhism, in which all other religions are excluded.