It has been almost 2 years since the military coup overtook our beloved country, and since then, the innocent 54 million people of our country have been living under the captivity of terror and darkness. More than 2,000 people have been killed, thousands of people have been detained, and more than 1.5 million people have been displaced across the nation. This is in addition to the hundreds of houses, villages, and crop fields that have been burned down by the terrorist military. Half the population of Myanmar are now suffering below the poverty line.
For the ethnic minorities and Christian people, these sufferings are not entirely new. They have been facing these forms of discrimination and persecution for over half a century. The military has been committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and systemic arson in ethnic minority areas for decades.
In our faith, when one part of the Christian body suffers, the whole of Christendom suffers. If you look at the data in my presentation, you can see the indignities and attacks our Christian people have endured. Churches have been bombed and burned, and on Christmas Eve of last year, dozens of people in Karenni state mostly Christians were massacred and their bodies unceremoniously burned. Such is the suffering of our Christian brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith.
But still we keep our faith and trust in the Lord. I am moved to recall the bravery and conviction of Sister Ann Rosa Nu Tawng, a nun from Kachin state who in February of last year courageously knelt before the armed security forces blocking their way and protecting the unarmed and peaceful protesters. She pleaded with the soldiers not to shoot the protesters who posed no threat except to draw attention to the regime’s crimes and brutality, calling out “Just shoot me if you want to!”, offering to martyr herself to save her community. On that day she showed the world her courage, strength, and her unwavering faith in God.
Now more than ever, the people in Burma need your prayers and support to help them endure this trial. To heal their wounds and ease their suffering. We are in need of prayers, blessings, and above all, the brave people of Myanmar are great in need of a “Good Samaritan” – humanitarian assistance across the entire country. I believe we will be able to overcome these trials and tribulations, and build a peaceful federal democratic country in the near future, but we need the support of our fellow Christians. As the Lord Christ himself said “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” and it is now more than ever, as our world is faced with ever more pain and suffering, violence and war, that our salvation is in the hands of the peacemakers. I call on all our brothers and sisters of faith to help us build that peace.
Union Minister of the Ministry of International Cooperation
Spokesperson of the National Unity Government of Myanmar
Former Myanmar Special Envoy to the United Nations