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.

Written by UFM mission workers in Myanmar