Christians in Myanmar are taking refuge in the jungle and wilderness after a coup on February 1st by the Myanmar military that ousted the democratic President and implemented an authoritarian military government, United States-based media Christian Post reported on April 20th, citing an announcement by Open Doors USA.
According to the article, Pastor Cheet, who is shepherding a small church there, realized that he and the church were no longer safe after the February coup. The junta, or Myanmar military, which detained Myanmar’s political leadership, is now attacking churches, offices, cafes, and residential buildings, searching for protesters and shooting them even in their own homes.
One of the threats many face is being drafted into the military by the military government. A pastor in a remote village told Luwin, an Open Doors staff, “Last week, I was asked to recruit 30 military service personnel for a chief. Christians, including pastors, are hiding in the woods to avoid recruitment.”
Min Naing, a Christian from the capital of Yangon, told Open Doors, “I hear gunshots and grenades every day near my house. Most houses turn off the lights after 8 P.M., and no one makes noise. We’re in the house even during the day. You can’t go out except to go shopping for groceries and take out the trash.”
Christians are living in the middle of Yangon without security. Christians already face serious persecution in Myanmar, and now many fear they will be targeted during the conflict with the government.
Even before the coup, Myanmar was the longest embroiled country in civil war. The civil war began shortly after its independence from Britain in 1948. The central government seeks to control areas in which limited autonomy is promised. Armed peoples in these areas fought for self-determination, and some regions still continue to fight the government even to this day.
The civil war in Myanmar is particularly affecting Christian communities of the Kachin and Karen people groups. Christians are persecuted by both rebel units of these people groups and the Myanmar military. Among these people groups, more than 100,000 people, mostly Christians, live in refugee camps.
”From the capital to the jungle far away, Myanmar’s church will pray for a better future and extend practical and spiritual support to all who need food and words of encouragement,” Open Doors said.
SOURCE: Christian Today
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
(Psalm 34:18-19, NKJV)
Lord, Christians are taking refuge in the jungles and wilderness to escape the persecution of the military coup in Myanmar.
However, we know You are near to those in Myanmar who are suffering from the continuous civil wars and coups. Let the righteous rely on the word of the Lord, that Jehovah will deliver them out of all troubles!
Let the Myanmar church walk on the path of righteousness to the end, no matter what difficulties and hardships they may face.
May the church of Myanmar pray for their own people, who are confused by the coup and are giving up their lives for a worldly kingdom. We sincerely plead to You, Lord, that in spite of all difficulties, we may stand. We pray for the nations and the global church to also remember and pray for Myanmar.
Also, we pray that the gospel of salvation be preached quickly in Myanmar, so that the people of Myanmar do not have to die in vain. Amen!