Myanmar (MNN) – Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is facing harsh international criticism for its persecution of the Muslim Rohingya people. But what’s less known is the fierce persecution that Christians also suffer in Myanmar.
Greg Kelley with World Mission explains, “The persecution that [Christians] face there is different. It’s in the form of Buddhism. And I think a lot of times we think of Buddhism as a peaceful religion, but it’s very aggressive and violent towards Christians.”
The Myanmar population is 87.9 percent Buddhist and only 6.2 percent Christian. And on Open Doors’ World Watch List, Myanmar is ranked at number 28 with a “very high” Christian persecution rating.
Kelley shares a story about a Christian family in Myanmar that World Mission learned about from one of their national ministry partners.
“This one family that came to know the Lord through our national partner there, the Buddhist monk had learned about this and was infuriated. He mobilized a mob of 100 people to surround this family [in their home].”
In addition to the family of new Christians, there was another Christian family with them when they were attacked in the night. There were four adults and five children in the house.
“The Buddhist monk and the mob surrounded [the house] with rocks. Some of them were ten pounds — I mean, these were large rocks. And they threw hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rocks at this home to show their displeasure with them coming to know Christ.”
The parents covered their children, putting metal boxes over their heads and shielding them. Although they suffered wounds, amazingly, nobody was killed.
“When the sun came up and the villagers came, expecting to see nine corpses, they found people who were coming out of that home. They actually started to communicate with them and they said, ‘We forgive you.’ And that act, that supernatural gesture of forgiving people who tried to kill you the night before, had four people receive Jesus.”
Kelley says this is what it means to stand up for Christ – it’s not just holding fast to your faith, but it’s also being a bold witness to others. Transformation is coming through the strength of believers in areas rife with persecution. And it’s your prayers that support them.
Please pray for persecuted Christians in Myanmar to continue to be supernatural witnesses in Jesus’ name. Pray for their persecutors’ hearts to be opened to the Gospel and transformed through the Holy Spirit.
World Mission is working to advance the Gospel in Myanmar by distributing their audio Bible called The Treasure. Please also pray for God to bless their ministry and for more people in Myanmar to have a chance to hear Scripture.
Click here to learn more about World Mission at their website!