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Demoso church attack.jpg

Shan / Kayah: Attacks on places of worship

May 2021 onwards

Timeline of incidents involving places of worship

  • May 23: The Sacred Heart church of Khayantayar (Kayah state, Loikaw township) is shelled; images show the impact and indicate it could be consistent with artillery shelling, which begun on May 23 but continued to at least 2:00 am on May 24; 4 civilians - of which 2 women - were reportedly killed and more wounded; the building has been significantly damaged; a video of the rescue mission from the Sacred Heart parish of Loikaw to evacuate the wounded recorded on May 24 helped to geolocate the Sacred Heart church of Khayantayar and shows in the compound many white flags were waving; Charles Maung Bo, the archbishop of the catholic archdiocese of Yangon, released an appeal on May 25, confirming the attack has killed 4, wounded 8 and caused severe damage to the building; 

  • May 23: the Sacred Heart cathedral of Phekon (Shan state) was reportedly also hit by the Tatmadaw: no casualties are reported and photographs from the alleged attack posted on May 24 show relatively small damages (broken glass of facades); the attack may have occurred during the night between May 23 and 24;

  • May 26: the church of St. Joseph in Demoso, was hit by Tatmadaw forces. Images show extensive damages to the church’s front facade but no casualties have been reported; according to the diocese of Loikaw, mortar rounds hit the church as IDPs had taken refuge inside;

  • May 29: one killed as Tatmadaw forces storm catholic seminary in Likaw

  • June 6: the church of Mary, Queen of Peace in Daw Ngan Kha (Demoso) - together with nearby houses - is hit by Tatmadaw forces - reportedly in the morning; images shared on June 6 show heavy damage to front facade - including a hole made by a large projectile which has left a large smoke mark around the impact area - and front side of the bell tower; white flags are visible on the bell tower and front yard; more images show broken glass from the windows and damage to the northern walls of the building; images shared by local media company show buildings in proximity of the church were also severely damaged - according to the medium’s claim (which quotes KNDF) - because “set on fire during the military offensive”; those same images show extensive damage caused by fire and copious spent cartridges from small arms;

  • June 6: shrine of Jeroblou Marian in Pekhon 

Further claims: 
This post by Myanmar Jesuits dated June 19th is a photographic collection of post-shelling damages on churches:]


  • Location of Sacred Heart church of Khayantayar shelled on May 23-24: 19.772516, 97.208123;

  • Location of Sacred Heart of Jesus cathedral of Phekon hit on May 23-2419.863638, 97.006912;

  • Location of St. Joseph church of Demoso, shelled on May 26: 19.541915, 97.152675;

  • Location of Mary, Queen of Peace church in Daw Ngan Khar ward (Demoso township) hit on June 6: 19.557597, 97.150832;

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