Burma (MNN) — Persecution, cultural and religious, is widespread throughout Burma. Much attention is directed toward the Rohingya ethnic group fleeing Burma after facing years of persecution. But they aren’t the only ones facing injustice.
In some Burmese villages, churches are burned and crosses destroyed. Open Doors USA ranks Burma as #25 on its 2015 World Watch List for Christian persecution. Many lack access to God’s Word in their native language, but one Christian ministry is bringing it to them in a way they can connect with.
World Mission, a Christian organization that helps bring the gospel to third-world countries, has made Burma the target of its ministry. Only about 4% of the population is Christian, while roughly 89% practice Buddhism. The majority of Burmese people are non-literate learners, making it harder for missionaries to teach them God’s Word.
But World Mission has the solution. It distributes solar-powered handheld audio Bible players, called The Treasure, to missionaries who bring them to Burma and other countries around the world.
“The Burmese people, like so many of the unreached people groups of the world, are oral learners,” says Greg Kelley, CEO of World Mission. “So you might walk up to one of them and hand them something in print, and they wouldn’t value it if they receive it at all. But interestingly, they will listen to something that’s in their own language with great interest.
“Burma is one of the target areas for World Mission because of its high concentration of unreached people, particularly the Burmese people, which make up 75% of the entire population. So when you have that high of a concentration, so many of these people have not heard the gospel message.”
This year, World Mission’s goal is to make giant leaps in its ministry. It has distributed around 1,000 Treasures per year for about the last six years. During 2015, it hopes to send 2,500.
“We’ve seen such an amazing response to The Treasurers that we’ve distributed in there, and our national partners are coming up with new strategies and ways to take advantage of the listening groups,” Kelley says. “There’s just been a huge increase in demand as our national partners have been targeting the Burmese people.
“We got a report just a couple of months ago that one Treasure, they documented 900 people that had been actively listening for two hours every single day.”
There hasn’t just been a demand for the gospel. Kelley said he is seeing its fruit in people’s lives as well.
“[Burma] ranks as the top giving nation in the world, as far as contributions to religious
causes. But interestingly, all of that is going into the hands of monks, into Buddhist temples,” Kelley said. “It’s so misdirected. They give, they’re very generous, buts it’s all going into advancing the cause of Buddhism.
“As we can impact people’s hearts, we’re seeing them come to know the Lord, and that generosity is now going into the Christian church and helping advance the church.”
You can help World Mission bring the message of Christ to Burma through The Treasure. For no cost, World Mission will provide a “Change Your World” box for its campaign to raise money for Treasures. The idea is to place the box in a public place for people to toss their spare change into.
“It only takes us $40 to take a Treasure into Burma that will allow over 100 people to hear the gospel for the first time,” Kelley said. “Filling up one of these boxes is a great and easy way to do it.”
Visit changeyourworld.cc to request one of these boxes or find other ways to support World Mission. Also, pray that World Mission workers would impact hearts for Christ, and that people would be receptive to the gospel.