Christians in Myanmar are now calling for the Body of Christ all across the world to pray for them as helplessness invaded them following the turmoil, unrest and confusion brought about by the recent coup in their government.
Open Doors reported that Christians in Myanmar are not only feeling helpless, they also feel like their "hope has been taken away" with the military government reinstated once again in the country.
On Feb. 1, the coup brought back painful memories for the people of Myanmar when they were still under military government or military junta for almost 50 years from 1962 to 2011. In a rather violent move, Myanmar's military has detained a total of 24 high-ranking officials including their democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country's president, Win Myint in response to election fraud allegations.
International Christian Concern (ICC) revealed that following the coup the military government has declared a state of emergency for a year until a new election. The whole country is not only in a state of unrest; worry also spread among churches who are already suffering from persecution. Believers are now becoming fearful that things can only get worse instead of better under another military rule.
One pastor from Rakhine State shared how he has lost sleep crying out to God for help because of the hopelessness of their current situation.
"It feels like our hope has been taken away. I couldn't sleep and I cried out to God more than three times that night. Our dreams, hopes, vision and freedom are taken away. Our lifetime has been full of grief, fear and trouble under the military regime. People are suffering because of the war. Job opportunities are also difficult at the moment, and we are depressed by the military coup because we had hoped for a ceasefire," the pastor shared.
Other believers in Myanmar expressed their sadness over the fact that high-ranking military officers now rule the different sectors of the government including cultural affairs, finance and border departments and also religion which means new suffering for Christians living in the country.
One of Open Doors' local partners shared her concern for the 4,000 Christians who were fleeing the jungles of Karen State including more than 500 believers who were missionaries trying to flee the Kyaukkyi Bago region. With the new political development, displaced Christians will be trapped with no means to go back to their homes. In addition, basic commodities like food, clothes and medicines will be very difficult to have given their present situation.
With an uncertain future and the fact that people already lost their jobs because of the pandemic, the war that may come with the new military government and insurgent group does not bode well not only for the believers, but the people of Myanmar.
Some of the believers shared how they are sad and scared but that churches are praying over the situation.
"The army is stationed in our area and we are very sad. The churches are very sad and are praying for the situation," a believer from Sagaing District shared.
A Mandalay pastor also shared: "The churches are praying. We are calm, but scared at the same time."
Jan Vermeer, Open Doors Communications Director for Asia, urged Christians around the world to pray for Myanmar and its believers to find peace and security in this trying time.
"While our partners do their best to respond on the ground, let's trust God to be their strength and shield. Our prayers go where we cannot," Vermeer said adding "Let's be one with our brothers and sisters in Myanmar through prayer."