Christians in Myanmar
posted by: Joan Vine | on: Thursday, 14 September 2017, 19:49
Mary Sumner founded the Mothers’ Union in 1876 in the Old Rectory, Winchester. She lived long enough to see the Union become a worldwide organisation. I am certain she is looking down and seeing that her vision for the Mothers’ Union, and its values, are needed more in the world than ever, nowhere more than . . . Myanmar (formerly Burma). We have all seen the horrific news of the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim families being persecuted in Myanmar. The Burmese Army and police (of mainly Buddhist background) have been accused of widespread human rights violations. These people have been trying to escape persecution, travelling to the border with Bangladesh. The scenes are horrific with no food, water or sanitation. These people are desperate, and it is only a matter of time before disease is widespread . . . We pray for these persecuted people.
But what of the Myanmar Christian population, and Myanmar’s links with the Mothers’ Union? There are approximately 55 million inhabitants in Myanmar, of which Buddhism is the main religion. Because of religious nationalism, there is widespread religious persecution by the Burmese army, mainly against Muslims, but also affecting the (approximately) 4 million Christians. There is also an organisation of Buddhist Monks who have helped to introduce laws that have prevented religious conversion and religious mixed marriages. It is not easy to worship Christ and to be a Christian in Myanmar, but Christianity flourishes in the face of danger.
The Mothers’ Union in Myanmar (established in 1914) is one of the church organizations which care for family life and has over 8,000 members. In February 1970, The Anglican Church in Myanmar became a Province and the Mothers’ Union also gained Provincial status. Members in Myanmar share the visions, values, aims and objects of Mothers’ Union and take them very seriously. They run programmes such as leadership training for groups, Bible study, family care and counselling, whilst teaching various topics including Christian marriage, climate change, and gender awareness.
Members have a vast array of different skills, work hard and are dedicated. They are very inspiring women. The Union is one of four key pillars working within the Church of the Province of Myanmar. Although feeling ‘isolated’ (being ‘cut off’ from the global Mothers’ Union family) they still have incredible passion for their work. They show no signs of slowing down, know exactly what they wish to do and how to achieve those aims.
It is more important than ever to stand with them. To pray for them and their work. We need to show them the love and encouragement that global Mothers’ Union family is so good at giving. By Arthur Tear
Posted: 14 Sep 2017 | There are 0 comments
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