Burma (MNN) — The revolutions in the Middle
East and North Africa have inspired many others to the idea of change set off
Activists working toward social equality in Burma have taken their mission online. There, they're calling for true democracy and
an end to the junta government.
While the timing could be ripe, Dyann Romeijn with Vision Beyond Borders says it
wouldn't be the first time people tried revolution. "The people in Myanmar have been very
repressed for a long time. There was actually a rebellion in 2007, the ‘Saffron
Rebellion.' It was crushed then by the
ruling party, but the people probably are encouraged by the response to Mubarak being removed from
The brutality of the regime may be what's keeping the idea
of revolution from spreading.Romeijn agrees:
"This government is characterized as one of the most repressive governments, and
there is a huge need for prayer at this time."
That, and there are reports that the government has added
security to Burma's former capital. It's no surprise. "The communication out of Burma is very
limited. They already watch the
internet. There is a close hand on all
those things already within that government."
State-owned media did not cover the protests, and they restricted Web site access. The government also
banned Web sites that would allow users to bypass the government's proxy
servers. However, because government
is bent on maintaining power, Romeijn
says, "I'm sure that they are trying to
get a handle on the people that are starting this. That's why it would be very
important for people to be praying."
Technology played a critical role in the "Saffron Rebellion." If the winds sweep over Burma, it will play a
similar role once more. The government
will likely take swift action to prevent this. "They've typically dealt with any dissent with a very hard hand," says Romeijn, "so it
is a time of prayer for these people."
Because of the government's heightened awareness and
suspicion of outsiders, the outreach of Vision Beyond Borders could be affected. "It
places everybody in a more dangerous
position to go inside of Burma, especially now because we've produced that
documentary on the situation in Burma with footage from three Burma rangers of
the actual fighting inside Burma and the genocide that's occurring. Anytime
that you've exposed things, it does put you in greater danger,"explains Romeijn.
She goes on to say that "as long as God keeps that door
open, we'll continue to go, as long as we're called there. If the door closes somehow, we'll continue to try
to find ways around that."
The silent genocide in Burma that's been going on for nearly three
decades prompts this dedication. "The
people there are so in need of the Gospel, so in need of Bibles. 60% of
the Karen [people group] are Christians," says Romeijn. "It's
encouraging to see their faith, that in the midst of the persecution and
suffering, they're continuing to stand firm for the Gospel."
What can you do? "God
is moving through the prayers of His people. We're seeing a change in Burma
because people are praying. They can
send items just to help with these people; they can go on trips and encourage them
and carry in Bibles and supplies." There's more here.