Christians in Myanmar Concerned about the Future after Coup
02/17/2021 China (International Christian Concern) – More than two weeks after the Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) staged a coup to remove the democratically elected civilian government, protestors are taking it to the streets to express their anger and demand the release of political leaders.
Among them, Christians who are one of the religious minorities in Myanmar also take part in the protests and demonstrations. The Alabama Baptist shares the perspective of a Christian woman who is teaching English in Kachin State.
K Soi, who uses a pseudonym, fears that Myanmar is in danger of becoming “like North Korea” if the country’s democratically elected government is not restored soon. She has been joining thousands of others in daily protests against the military’s actions. The protests, called the CDM or civil disobedience movement, have the support of many Christians in the country. In fact, despite the risks and danger, she has seen a growing number of young Christians joining.
President of Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), Hkalam Samson, shared KBC’s position by stating, “As civilians and as Christians, we do not side with any injustice, authoritarians or centralized government. St. Augustine said, ‘peace without justice is no peace at all.’ … Quoting Amos 5:24, I urge, let justice flow down like a river.”
Although the Christian community is not being targeted by the Tatmadaw at the moment, K. Soi fears that might change in the future. COVID-19 concerns have already halted many church gatherings, and humanitarian efforts to help internally displaced peoples in the region have ceased. The Christian-majority ethnic Kachin people have long suffered armed conflicts between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Tatmadaw after a ceasefire agreement breakdown in 2011.
According to the 2020 data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), as of 31 January 2020, there were 138 internally displaced people (IDP) sites in Kachin State, with a total of 97,322 IDPs. With the coup, certainly these IDPs will find it even harder to survive.
For interviews, contact Alison Garcia: firstname.lastname@example.org.