A Kachin Church, somewhere in Kachinlands

When you’re running a paranoid military dictatorship it must become hard to judge the real threats, from the half threats, from the non-threats. It really must.

The well-connected Irrawaddy crew are running a piece which discusses a ban on a literary workshop organised by a Kachin Baptist Church in Rangoon. The workshop, “was aimed at young people, and was to have been addressed by two well-known Burmese writers, Ko Tar and Chit Oo Nyo”.

According to The Irrawaddy, the authorities have even taken to checking this Church’s Sunday order of service. Of course, continued attacks on Churches and writers do nothing to improve the junta’s battered image.

That this outpost of Kachin culture and faith has been targeted by authorities in Rangoon makes resistance almost impossible. Back in the Kachin heartland, there will be more grumbles and calls for less Kachin tolerance of Burmese military rule.

From my many recent conversations with interested parties, it is clear that Christianity, literature and youth are top Kachin priorities in the Kachin State right now. Stamping on these “sacred” three – even from the relative safety of Rangoon – has the potential to shake the whole Manao ground.

As one pastor reminded me, “Young man, we only have a ceasefire, there is no peace”.