Four Christians were injured – two so badly they required hospital treatment – when a local Buddhist mob attacked and destroyed their homes in the Sanaing region on 7 July. The day before, the four believers, all new converts, had been summoned to the Teetaw village monastery by the abbot, where they were given the option of returning to Buddhism or being banished from the village. All four refused to deny Christ. Earlier in July, the house of a church pastor from a different region was destroyed by a Buddhist mob, leaving him and his family living on the roadside.
Myanmar is 87% Buddhist and as a result of a law introduced in 2015, anyone wishing to change religion is required to obtain official approval. Conversion to Buddhism is actively promoted, particularly among children, who are offered free food and education at Na Ta La Buddhist schools. Christian literature is strictly controlled, meaning many believers do not have access to a Bible. Although Christians have secured political positions in Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, ethnic minorities, still face repression, particularly from the military, which retains considerable autonomy. Most of Myanmar’s Christians come from ethnic minorities.
What is happening to the Rohingya muslims in Rakhine state is an example of the military being out of control and guilty of genocide.
Pray for the four new believers whose homes have been torched and who have been beaten. Give thanks for their courage and pray that they will be encouraged by Hebrews 10 – that they have better and lasting possessions and a rich reward for not forsaking His Name. Pray that Christians in Aung San Suu Kyi’s government will, like the prophet Daniel, have the wisdom to know when to stand up for their fellow believers and that the oppression of Christians will be reduced in Myanmar.