Introduction / History With a loud, harsh voice, the Burmese Army officer said, "We know you have many in this village fighting for the Shan State National Army (SSNA)! From now on, no one leaves this village. Anyone who does risks being killed. We put landmines in your rice field." A frightened Tai Khun woman later told her son, "you must run or they will kill you. You must fight for us and our Shan people." The boy quietly left knowing he might never see his family again. He worried they would starve because they could not get rice from their fields.
About 120,000 Tai Khun Shan people live in the remote hilly areas of Myanmar along with other Shan subgroups. Myanmar's government and military has dominated them for many years. Many Shan subgroups, including the Tai Khun, united to form their own rebel group (SSNA) to fight against the Burmese army. This has caused these people great hardships and persecution.
Their primary source of spiritual teaching comes from Buddhist monks. The Tai Khun Shan people find little comfort in their Buddhist religion, so they seek help from witch doctors for their serious problems with malaria, poor nutrition, and AIDS. Very few have ever heard the gospel, so they cannot look to Jehovah Jireh as their provider and shepherd.