Since the military coup in Myanmar on 1 February, believers have intensified their prayers and drawn immense strength from the Bible. The situation is pretty tense. The BBC reports that more than 700 people have been killed by the military since they took hold of power. Christians are worried that hardline Buddhists will endorse the military and enforce a belief that all Burmese people should be Buddhist.
We’ve heard from two Christians living in Myanmar who explain what the situation is like and how they are feeling:
“Many citizens have died, while others are jailed, interrogated, beaten and starved,” shares Sister Ruth, an Open Doors local partner who helps run a women’s discipleship training programme in Myanmar. “It is very sad. What I have seen in horror movies is happening right in front of me in my country.”
“It seems that normality is a distant hope,” she continues. “But I still believe that God can do anything even when everything seems impossible, because all things are possible with Him.”
Sister Ruth has faithfully sought to persevere in prayer, but thoughts of what’s happening on the streets of her country have been difficult to escape. “Even though I prayed every day, it is still very difficult to focus,” she says. “I could not bear the thoughts of all these things happening in the country and all the innocent dying day after day. It’s so stressful.”
But a recent chat with a Christian counsellor has brought welcome relief. “I am able to sleep better and have begun to give all my burdens to God, all my heavy loads to Him, to trust Him and believe that He will place the best and suitable leaders for our country. Bible passages have become so meaningful to me. One passage that always keeps me alive and that I rely on is Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
Image: Christian young people from Myanmar gather to pray for their country
“When the coup began, our family started praying for the country every night during our family devotions,” shares Sister Lhing, whose family has been forced to leave their home because of insecurity in their village. “The churches were closed since last year because of Covid-19, but we continued our family worship time where we sing and praise God. Since the coup, we dare not sing out loud.”
“I have become more prayerful since the coup,” she continues. “After the coup, we pray every night. My heart goes out to the wives of the soldiers who are in the military camps. They do not know if their husbands will come back alive. If they don’t, they cannot ask questions. As a woman and mother, I feel pity and sympathy for them, so I pray more for them and for peace in our country.
“My sympathies go out to the mothers who lost their children in the protests, the mothers of more than 700 who have died. They say some mothers have lost their sanity due to grief. I pray for them to be comforted.”
Dear God, unite, strengthen and build Your church in Myanmar. Speak specifically to Christians to lift and guide them, and provide opportunities for believers to tell others about Jesus. Give them boldness and courage. Provide for all needs, and encourage, equip and empower all leaders. Amen.
*Names changed for security reasons…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.