Prayers Answered as Catholic Priest and Catechist Freed after Arrest in Myanmar

A Catholic priest Father Noel Hrang Tin Thang and an unnamed catechist who were traveling from the town of Surkhua to Hakha were abducted last month by a group of armed militia in Myanmar’s Chin state. They were released on August 4.

The activists accused the priest of conniving with the military. reported that the abducted priest and catechist were released through the intercession of local church leaders

 Bishop Hre Kung of the Diocese of Hakha released a statement on August 1, calling for their release by members of the Chinland Defense Force.

“I call on the concerned leaders of the CDF to immediately release the pair,” said the bishop in his statement.

The news agency Fides, said that Father Tin Thang only talked with a Catholic general who often visits the priests’ residence.

The abducted priest reportedly asked the military general to avoid fighting in the city to spare civilians from being caught in the armed conflict.

The resistance group has been organized supposedly “to protect civilians” from the military after the February 1 coup that ousted the government.

“There is no sign of easing atrocities, killing, arrest committed by the military,” Kyaw Moe Tun wrote, in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Myanmar’s UN envoy,  “We demand for urgent humanitarian intervention from the international community before it is too late.”

Security forces have killed at least 946 people since the coup, according to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, a Thai-based activist group. The military has disputed the tally and also said many members of the security forces have been killed.