08/09/2022 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – In February of 2021, the Burmese military staged a coup that ultimately deposed the country’s democratically elected government. As a result, Myanmar’s path toward stability and democracy was abruptly cut off, and the country has been in a state of turmoil throughout the year and a half it has spent under military rule.
The Burmese military, called the Tatmadaw, has waged a campaign of terror against Christians in Myanmar. The Tatmadaw has a strong Buddhist nationalist agenda and believes that targeting Christian villages and destroying churches and other religious buildings will solidify its control over the country.
As a result, Myanmar’s western states, several of which are majority Christian, have been particularly devastated since the Tatmadaw took over. Military raids, particularly in Kayah, Chin, Karen, and Kachin states, have destroyed many churches, convents, and Christian homes. Priests and pastors have also been killed and arrested.
More than 2,000 people, including many Christians, have been killed and around 13,000 detained since the coup began. Thousands more are internally displaced following the destruction of their homes and villages. Despite their desperate situation, ICC reported earlier this summer that the Tatmadaw denies Christians humanitarian assistance from international organizations due to their religion.
Undeniably, life for many of Myanmar’s Christians is bleak and desperate. Thousands have been exiled from their villages and forced to seek refuge in crowded churches and, as a last resort, Buddhist monasteries, where they are not allowed to attend church services with other believers.
Since they cannot return to their homes and farms, many displaced Christians struggle to feed themselves and their families. Recently, ICC had the privilege of partnering with some churches in Buthidaung, a majority-Christian region in western Myanmar, to provide food to Christian families who cannot return home.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, ICC provided a month’s worth of food for 99 Christian families currently sheltering in Buthidaung. Recently, we heard from some Christians who received food through ICC’s program.
One Christian told ICC in a video message, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to ICC for supporting each household with food packages. I cannot thank you enough. We are so happy and grateful for receiving this kind of gift during this difficult time. As displaced people living in this area, the situation in our villages prevents us from returning home. We can’t start a livelihood while away.”
Please pray for Christians who are suffering under oppressive military rule in Myanmar. Pray for an end to the conflict and the restoration of democracy.
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