According to this brother, the political situation in Myanmar is just as oppressive as North Korea. However, because Myanmar does not pose a nuclear threat, the country does not receive nearly as much international attention. Too often, we think about the world in terms of politics instead of people. We think of places as abstract points on a map, and people as abstract statistics.
On May 2nd, cyclone Nargis smashed into southern Myanmar, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Burmese. You can get the full story on Wikipedia or from the American Red Cross. Obviously, the entire country is very much in need of our prayer and support. Here's the report from Voice of the Martyrs:
Thousands of people have died as a result of the recent cyclone in Burma. According to media reports, the military government has been resisting assistance from countries around the world. On May 12, the United States government was finally able to deliver its first relief supplies to Burma, as the United Nations urged the reclusive nation to open its doors to foreign experts who can help up to 2 million cyclone victims facing disease and starvation.
Christians in Burma are working to assist survivors of the cyclone. A believer told The Voice of the Martyrs, "I believe that as we bring relief assets to the orphanages and churches with whom we are partners, we will not only be helping them, but also providing them with the necessary resources to impact their immediate communities with the tangible love of Jesus. In the end, I believe that the church will shine in this dark hour and that the Kingdom of God will be advanced in this nation."
In Burma Christian persecution exists in every province. Believers risk arrest, detention, corrupt court proceedings, jail, fines, confiscations, threats, destruction of property, and occasional martyrdom. Persecution comes predominately from the military junta, and also from the majority Theravada Buddhists. Family persecution is also a reality, as it is in many countries. Tribal groups who are strong in their various ethnic spirit beliefs persecute converts to Christ, as well. The Karen group is probably the most severely persecuted group in Myanmar today, and they are in hiding along the Thai-Burma border.
To learn more about Ram and the work in Myanmar, visit their Church website. Let us pray that the light of the Gospel will shine forth in the midst of this tragedy, and may we learn to identify - spiritually and actually - with the trials and sufferings of these our brothers and sisters.
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