Global Day of Prayer For Burma Held In London
London, UK: Prayer for Burma 2008 was held with more than 200 participants at Emmanuel Centre in Central London last Saturday as part of an international prayer initiative for Burma.
The event jointly hosted by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Partners Relief and Development, Karen Aid and the Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP) called for an end to the oppression and brutalities inflicted on the peoples of Burma by the military regime.
The speakers included Ben Rogers of CSW, Oddny Gumaer of Partners Relief and Development, and Rob Crouch and Shelley Guest of 3P Ministries. Mizo’s talented singer Dadudi sang on behalf of the Chins at the service and Goon Tawng of Kachin State gave a short speech on the Kachin.
Churches around the world were urged to pray for Burma during their services on Sunday 9 March, 2008. CSW is also calling on Christians and churches around the world to devote the first week of March to keep watch and pray for Burma.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Tina Lambert said: “With recent events including the regime’s brutal crackdown on protests last September, continuing offensives against civilians in Karen State and further human rights violations in all parts of the country, prayer for Burma is now even more vital than ever.
“Added to this the assassination of the Karen leader Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, and the regime’s efforts to rubber-stamp its rule by introducing a sham constitution through a sham referendum which would exclude Burma’s major democratic and ethnic representatives, make it so important for churches around the world to remember Burma, and we hope many people will be able to join us in this important event in London.”
A message from a relief-team leader from Karen State, Burma reads according to the booklet by Prayerforburma.org, “I am thankful to all of you who pray and care for the people of Burma and to God who has all things in His hands. As I look around the beautiful jungle valley we are in and see the rushing streams and rising mountains and enthusiastic new teams I am filled with gratitude. All of this is a gift from God and those of you who help us in this.”
“It is really encouraging that a lot of people come to this service for praying for Burma. But I have seen only a few Burmese. We all need to make more efforts to take part in any activities for our country,” a Chin participant, Sawma told Chinland Guardian.
Burma has been ruled by one of the most brutal regimes in the world. Since taking power in a coup in 1962, the military junta (currently known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)) has gone to terrifying lengths to subdue and annihilate the democratic opposition and the country’s numerous ethnic groups. Civilians are regularly used as human minesweepers, bullet shields and forced labourers. Children are abducted and sent to the frontline. Villagers are shot on sight, villages are burnt down, paddy and livestock are destroyed. SPDC has been accused of human rights violations on its own peoples.
The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Van Biak Thang
10 March, 2008