Date: March 22, 2021
Myanmar (MNN) — The military in Myanmar has killed over 200 civilians since seizing power from the elected government. Military officials have imposed martial law in several cities, occupying schools and cutting off all internet access.
Greg Kelley of World Mission says, “Myanmar, like many of these countries in Southeast Asia, have gotten a taste of democracy and freedom. And they’ve experienced the internet. They know what’s going on around the world and they yearn for that. They long for that to be a part of their country and their government.”
Violent reaction to protests
That’s why citizens have protested in such great numbers ever since the coup. But Kelley says, “These military authorities, their approach is they’re shooting people. I mean, we would expect maybe tear gas, or maybe even rubber bullets. But that’s not the case. These military authorities are literally killing people. People are fearful to leave their homes at night. They’re being kidnapped. They’re vanishing, disappearing. It’s a very dire situation right now.”
Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, has become a war zone. Thousands are fleeing, leaving their possessions behind.
But many Christians are also using these turbulent circumstances as an opportunity for ministry. Kelley says, “When tragedies like this happen, it causes everyone in the community to look thoroughly at their worldviews. In this case, it’s primarily Buddhists. It’s a great opportunity for the body of Christ to share the Gospel. And that’s exactly what’s going on right now.”
The header photo shows a protest taking place in Yangon. (သူထွန်း, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)