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.