Burma (MNN) — Burma's Democratic leader, Aung San Suu Kyi,
just marked her 65th birthday; she is under house arrest. The junta government ignored her election win
in 1990 and marked her as an enemy. The
situation highlights the conditions of Burma–a "North Korea in training."
Patrick Klein with Vision Beyond Borders says for some reason,
their misdeeds have gone "under the radar."
"I think it's going to become a North Korea very easily unless the
world gets involved and says, 'Enough is enough.'"
leaders have set another election date for October 10 this year–the first
since Suu Kyi won 20 years ago. While
government supporters claim it's a step toward democracy, everything else
points the other direction.
There are concerns that a new election will sweep the junta
military into power and officially entrench the ongoing brutality.
Those fears are especially real against the backdrop of a reported military
crackdown against Burma's Karen, many of them Christians. Klein says, "There's genocide taking
place. They're wiping out whole villages. We have a report of over 3300
villages being burned to the ground and landmines everywhere. Over half a
million people have died."
Over 500,000 of Burma's minorities have been slaughtered, and
yet very little of this crisis makes it onto the headline pages. That's
a source of frustration for Klein and other partners working to
alleviate the suffering of Karen Christians.
However, the tide could be changing. "Many people have lost complete confidence
whatsoever in their government. It
seems like you have this leadership that becomes more and more evil and bent
on destruction. And yet, in the midst of it, you see God really working."
It's an overwhelming
task, but Klein says the Gospel brings hope amidst dangerous circumstances. He notes, "We've just had a request
from an evangelist to help provide 20,000 New Testaments. He wants to
evangelize soldiers." Klein
says their partner has been talking with a general of one of the tribal armies
who has also come under fire. Funding
for the Bibles is needed along with monies for medical supplies and food. You can help. Click here.
(Join us tomorrow for Part 2 of this 3-Part series on the situation in