Home Equality & Justice Myanmar Catholic bishop appeals for release of priest, catechist nabbed by activists

Myanmar Catholic bishop appeals for release of priest, catechist nabbed by activists

Father Noel Hrang Tin Thang and a catechist were traveling from the town of Surkhua to Hakha when nabbed by a group of activists

A Catholic bishop in Myanmar’s Chin state appealed for the release of a priest and a catechist who were reportedly taken by the activist group Chinland Defense Force (CDF) on July 26.

“I call on the concerned leaders of the CDF to immediately release the pair,” said Bishop Hre Kung of the Diocese of Hakha in western Myanmar in a statement on August 1.

The prelate said Father Noel Hrang Tin Thang and a catechist, who was not named in the statement, were traveling from the town of Surkhua to Hakha when nabbed by a group of activists.



The activist group accused the priest, who has been helping people displaced by the fighting in the region between government forces and armed activists, of also helping the military.

Father Paul Thla Kio, a priest in Hakha, however, told the Catholic news agency Fides, that Father Tin Thang only talked with a Catholic general who often visits the priests’ residence.

The abducted priest even asked the military general to avoid fighting in the city, said Father Thla Kio, adding that after the dialogue the soldiers even told priests and nuns to continue their work with the people.

Meanwhile, the CDF has announced that the priest and the catechist are in good hands and are treated well.

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The resistance group said in a statement that it is expecting intense clashes in the coming days with state forces in the town of Mindat.

The CDF claims that among its goals is “to protect civilians” from the military, the abolition of the 2008 Myanmar constitution, and an end of the military dictatorship.

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