What’s Going on In Burma?
Officially Myanmar, the country of Burma is nestled between Thailand, India, China, and the ocean. The current government is a military dictatorship which will not relent to the people’s democracy, keeping the rightful leader of the country under house arrest. The U.S., along with other countries, do not officially recognize the military regime of Myanmar, hence the confusing dual-names. The military is ruthless to non-Buddhist religious groups (along with Buddhists who make a stand), political groups and ethnic minority groups. Burma is considered one of the world’s most brutal and oppressive regimes; there is virtually no freedom of speech, assembly or association. Media control, forced labor, human trafficking, child labor and rampant sexual violence are all some of the common abuses carried out by the government. Various ethnic groups, notably a people group called the Karen, seem to be marked for extermination. Although the international community does not consider the people groups that are being chased down and killed as genocide, it is likely that is what is happening (After all, when has the international community ever officially acknowledged a genocide while it is in the process?). There is a large number if Internationally Displaced People within the country and many refugees that try to escape do not have success. Also, the economy is terrible due to mismanagement. Along with the oppression, the Burmeses difficulties are worsened by the typical difficulties the poor face in underdeveloped countries. Recently, there was also an extremely deadly cyclone which destroyed part of the country, in which the government blocked international aid at the most crucial time.
That is a basic summary of why Burma needs prayer and advocates. Although these people might be on the other side of the globe, in a different world than us essentially, they are still humans. They are individuals with their own families and stories. Many of those targeted for death and destruction have the same faith as I do. They are my brothers and sisters. God doesn’t promise a life of peace, and safety. Rather Jesus stated that those who follow Him would suffer in many cases. Yet if we can relieve their suffering we should. Although I can’t physically be there with them, binding their wounds, hearing their hearts or be in an international court as their representative I can still do something. I can still be aware of them, that they aren’t too far beyond me. I can share their trials with you. I can pray that God gives them strength in the difficulties they face, that He would bring them life in their suffering and that God will be made more famous because of these beautiful people who have to suffer from the evil in this world.
If you’d like some more information, hear some stories of what is going on, or look for ways to help please check out some of the following websites:
Here is an update: Global Day of Prayer 2010.