Myanmar priest shot while celebrating Mass amid violent conflict 

Myanmar Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia. | Credit: Shutterstock

A Myanmar priest was shot this week while celebrating Mass in the state of Kachin, according to media reports, with the assault coming amid ongoing violent conflict between the military junta and resistance forces in the region. 

Masked assailants shot Father Paul Khwi Shane Aung as he celebrated Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in the town of Mohnyin in the northern region of Myanmar.

The priest “was rushed to a hospital in Mohnyin and was later moved to a hospital in Myitkyina,” according to UCA News.

The reason for the attack is unknown and the shooters are reportedly still at large. Aung is listed on the Myitkyina Catholic Diocese’s website as a priest in the Mohnyin Zone. He was ordained in 2013. 

In February, the aid group Christian Solidarity International warned of a rise in violence against the persecuted Christian minority in Myanmar, with an advocate warning that ethnic-minority Christians there “are subjected to cruel ethnic-cleansing campaigns.”

Since a military coup ousted Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021, Myanmar has for years been wracked by violent conflict.

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, president of the Burmese bishops’ conference, in 2021 urged Catholics in Myanmar to share God’s mercy amid the suffering caused by the military coup there.

That year the prelate noted that Myitkyina had been the victim of a “great tragedy” of “killing the innocents in the streets.” 

“We need the light of God’s mercy in Myanmar,” Bo said at the time. 

The shooting of Father Aung comes just weeks after the fatal shooting of a Baptist pastor, also in Kachin, while the pastor worked at his computer shop. 

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