Myanmar, also known as Burma, has suffered decades of repressive military rule, widespread poverty, and civil war with ethnic minority groups. Myanmar has now entered a violent new chapter, which means undertaking work here is challenging. The military rule, past and present, has created an atmosphere of strict control and limited religious freedom, with the government placing restrictions on religious activities and conversions. Despite this, Myanmar has many Bible schools even though most are illegal, and indigenous church planters and christians boldly proclaim the gospel. Churches are growing.

Christians face many hurdles in openly practicing and sharing their faith, as well as encountering resistance from authorities or societal groups. The government, in cooperation with Buddhist monks, are the main persecutors in Myanmar, but local officials and tribal militias also persecute Christians. Villagers with animistic beliefs take vengeance on Christians, claiming they are angering the local spirits. Church gatherings and church buildings are allowed in many parts of the country, but tolerance varies from state to state.  Within tribal groups, families oppose conversion, and new believers are subject to close government monitoring (persecution.com).

This is why we are careful when sharing stories and pictures on our website and social media!

“Jacob” in Myanmar has been in our care for 3 years now. He came to live in Titus’ home with his 2 younger brothers when his elderly grandparents could no longer care for them. However, one of his brothers died the same year they were accepted into our care because he was frail and had a hole in his heart.

Jacob started attending Theology School last year and continues his education in the same school now. He is now 23 years old and for several years he has been a leader in the family home. He went back home last year to share the gospel with relatives in his village and is always helping the younger children in Titus’ home. The most recent report for Jacob said, “Jacob is very faithful to God and loves God. His dream is to become a missionary in the future. He is a good help to the younger children in the family home and he continues learning in Bible School (Theology).”

The political situation and humanitarian crisis add layers of complexity and uncertainty to our efforts. Despite these difficulties, we persevere, partnering with local organizations to address spiritual, social, and humanitarian needs, promoting interfaith dialogue, and uplifting communities in Myanmar’s complex political climate, knowing that God will always make a way. Jacob’s story is a great example of the fruit our work is bringing forth!

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19.

Citations:

Voice of the martyrs – praying for persecuted Christians in Myanmar (burma). The Voice of the Martyrs. (n.d.). https://www.persecution.com/globalprayerguide/myanmar/?gad=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw67ajBhAVEiwA2g_jEGyas-lXDpLiC7I2QMDqVTRON0__skDHTVnN5k3OLtAYcYZWqQZ2sRoCBBwQAvD_BwE

Council on Foreign Relations. (n.d.). Myanmar’s troubled history: Coups, military rule, and ethnic conflict. Council on Foreign Relations. https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/myanmar-history-coup-military-rule-ethnic-conflict-rohingya?gclid=CjwKCAjw67ajBhAVEiwA2g_jEKpT-77fuTN8BmTF5mtGLF3DMeIVfaT8Xi2OjsEBKGByykr_eGUavhoCxQUQAvD_BwE