Myanmar is seeing a deadly surge in Covid-19 cases. The country’s healthcare system has been severely affected by the military coup on 1 February, limiting the supply of medicines, oxygen and healthcare workers. Over 70 Christian leaders have recently died because of the disease. Thankfully, your support is ensuring medical aid is reaching believers. All names in this article have been changed for security reasons.
Thanks to your support, believers infected with Covid-19 are getting access to vital medicine that they're otherwise finding very difficult to access
Your support is ensuring that vital medicine is reaching believers affected by Covid-19 in Myanmar.
Pastor Hein serves in a Buddhist-majority area with his family. “All our family members have tested positive but there is no medicine at home,” he shares. “We cannot find any medicines in our town because all the shops have been closed. Our relative is going out to look for medicine.”
"Thank you so much for the medicine, it came at our time of need" Pastor Hein
Thankfully, Open Doors local partners have been able to send medicine to Pastor Hein and other believers in Myanmar. “Thank you so much for the medicine, it came at our time of need,” the pastor says.
Getting the medicine to Christians is an enormously challenging task. The below clip shows Open Doors local partners courageously crossing a river get to a village in a remote, tribal area where believers live. The road is rough and it's tougher when it rains – especially when it gets muddy and slippery. The partners travelled for seven hours on mopeds to deliver the aid. The risks taken highlight the desperation for this support.
Sadly, the deadly surge in Covid-19 cases in Myanmar has already resulted in the deaths of over 70 Christian leaders, amongst which include Open Doors local partners.
Pastor Maung was a persecution preparedness trainer who was passionate about sharing his faith and discipling new believers. He passed away shortly after being infected with the virus, leaving behind a wife and young children.
Another to pass away is Pastor Aung, who was instrumental in helping believers from Buddhist backgrounds. He attended Open Doors persecution preparedness training and shared what he learnt with other believers, and he was pivotal in bringing leaders together from different backgrounds and denominations for prayer and fellowship. He (together with his wife) was also trained in marriage counselling.
Another key partner, Philemon, who helped serve believers in the country also passed away due to Covid-19.
Meanwhile, prayers have been requested for Pastor Win and his wife, Mary. They’re secret believers serving in a Buddhist-majority area, and currently have Covid-19. Please pray for complete healing and restoration of good health, and that medical aid will reach them.
It’s now over six months since the military seized power of Myanmar. The coup led to nationwide protests which the military brutally countered. Civilians, determined to resist the military’s stranglehold, have started taking up arms through the People’s Defence Force (PDF), escalating the country’s long-running civil war. It’s leading to the displacement of thousands of people and extreme hunger.
"New believers are requesting Bibles, so they can have their own copies and read it" Brother Daniel
“We feel scared,” shares Sally, a believer in the country. “The helicopters are flying above our head continuously. They have started fighting again. Bombs are exploding non-stop. Please pray for our safety and the protection of our people from harm.”
Churches have been unable to meet because it’s too dangerous. Church buildings have been shot at and ransacked. Pastors have been forced into hiding having shown opposition to the coup, with some even arrested. Three pastors arrested at the beginning of the year and charged for participating in a prayer meeting remain in prison. Another pastor has faced interrogation and is also being detained.
Yet amidst the unrest and uncertainty, there continue to be sparks of hope. Persecution survival training – funded with your support – is guiding believers in their response to the coup. In one village, 40 people have given their lives to Jesus. Elsewhere, 40 children at a camp have become Christians. Meanwhile, believers are drawing strength from prayer, and there’s a yearning for God’s Word. “New believers are requesting Bibles, so they can have their own copies and read it,” shares Brother Daniel.
Explore Among the Ashes, a new film and prayer resource for churches from Open Doors. It looks at how the biblical principle of lament can bring us hope and comfort, even in the darkest situations.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.