Rome, 19 July 2021 -- Almost 6 months after the military coup in Myanmar many people around the world may have forgotten the suffering of innocent people, struggling for their freedom and democracy. Fortunately we continue to see various initiatives of solidarity and prayer in many countries.
Around 'Martyrs Day' (July 19) when the Burmese people commemorate the death and sacrifices of their government leaders who were assassinated on this day in 1947, we can witness many acts of solidarity and prayer around the globe.
The CBCP (Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines) request all dioceses and parishes to ring the bells on July 19 (noon time and 6 PM) and shares the following prayer with all Catholic in their country
od our loving Father,
you guide all creation with fatherly care.
We humbly pray for our brothers and sisters in Myanmar
in these trying times brought about by the military junta and Covid-19.
Many of them are suffering, hungry, sick, victims of violence,
displaced from their homes and separated from families.
Look upon them with mercy and protect them from all harm
and unite them in justice and peace.
We pray for all who stand for truth and justice,
may your Holy Spirit strengthen them in the assurance
that peacemakers are your children
and that their sacrifice and labor will bear fruit with your grace.
We pray for all those who cause these sufferings and violence,
that you may touch their hearts and lead them to repentance and change of hearts.
Bring all of us together peacefully into one family
and keep us all united in brotherly love.
We ask this, through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
Amidst the (quasi) silence of the world's most powerful countries and the economic interests of many countries and multi-nationals connected to the military, that was ruling Burma - Myanmar since the first coup in 1963, we can see the following pattern expressed especially by the young people of this country: 'The military junta can only terrorize our country, but they can’t rule. They can shoot, kill and arrest our young heroes called “Spring flowers” but they can’t avoid Burma’s Spring.
You can get to know the CDM (Civil Disobedience Movement), the NUG (National Unity Government) that are working together but are also many organizations around the world, organizing some events to attract attention to the present situation in Myanmar.
This weekend (17-18 July ) in Venice the 'Global Myanmar Spring Revolution' solidarity event aims to honour the many generations of those killed in Myanmar for a just cause, from struggle for independence to the current one for democracy. The meaning of this event, according one of the leaders of the Burmese Community in Italy: "We will pray and honour, together with all the ethnic communities of Myanmar, the fallen heroes during past 72 years up to the innocent civilians who are being killed today".
Also many Christians - Catholics have been killed or injured amid fighting between the military and ethnic rebel groups and anti-coup resistance forces. Churches have also been badly damaged while sheltering thousands fleeing the deadly violence. In the majority ethnic group living areas the fighting of the numerous rebel groups with the state military goes one: burnt villages, military opens fire on the civilians and some even speak about 'starting civil war'.
At the same time the Covid19 pandemic is aggravating the situation. According the FIDES agency, just in few weeks in the diocese of Hakha due to virus no fewer than 60 protestant pastors, 3 Catholic priests and 3 religious sisters have died. According the local media, the Covid19 test shows 20% positive results in some regions.
Yes, in this challenging situation, the struggling people of Myanmar are not left alone, they are present in our prayers and variety of solidarity acts.