On 1st February 2021, the Myanmar military seized power. They arrested the democratically
elected leaders and declared a one-year state of emergency, now extended to two.
Although pro-democracy demonstrations were peaceful, the military quickly resorted to lethal force, arbitrary detentions, torture and executions. The Junta’s actions have been condemned by the UN, the UK government and others. In the absence of the elected government, a council has been set up on their behalf – Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH). It is imperative that this body is recognised as the country’s true leaders and not the military Generals.
Please pray for the UN to make wise decisions about how to help Myanmar. Pray for Myanmar’s future, that it may be governed in justice and righteousness. Pray for the people to win back their freedom and for peace.
The Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) began quickly. Government workers refused to work for the Military. Doctors, bank staff, railway workers and others simply stopped working. Some were given an ultimatum: leave their government housing, return to work, or be shot. They bravely packed up and moved out. Others in the CDM were tracked down and kidnapped at night. This led to many people fleeing their homes and going into hiding. These people are making a huge impact; the country cannot run without them. It is a dangerous stance to take and one that often means forfeiting a wage.
Pray for those in hiding to remain safe. Pray for the donations coming in to support these people to be well distributed.
At the beginning of the coup huge numbers of people came out onto the streets to demonstrate. It then became dangerous as the military began using extreme violence against the protestors. It has been the young people who have continued to rebel and many of them have lost their lives. Medical personnel who treat the injured have also been targeted and have been beaten, arrested and killed.
Please pray for protection over those on the streets and pray for those mourning.
Since the coup we have not been able to contact the family of three siblings who came regularly to our Sunday school. Their stepfather is a policeman. In mid-February the family were moved into a police compound. Apparently those within the compounds are fed lies and propaganda. They hear no news from outside and can only see the military-run TV station. Some of them may want to defect but their families are effectively held hostage.
Please pray for this family and others like them.
Myanmar was already battered by Covid-19. Street vendors and day labourers struggled to make enough money to survive. Since the coup, this struggle has spread to the middle class. They cannot easily access their bank accounts and sometimes queue for 2-3 hours to withdraw only a restricted amount. So far food is available but prices are rising.
Please pray for generosity with basic needs to continue.
During this time of heavy heartedness and fear, there are also opportunities to share the hope we have. We have got to know our neighbours better and have had chances to talk about our faith with them. It is also a time to model to young Christians trust in God through uncertain times.
Please pray for local Christians and mission workers to have opportunities to share their faith.