Stand with Myanmar

Marbuen Diaz (Team Leader – Church Witness & CALD Lead) recently attended a multicultural pastor’s retreat in Victoria. He listened as a pastor from a Myanmar diaspora church apologised for appearing tired that morning session. The reason for that tiredness? Well, it was for staying up multiple nights in a row – hearing, grieving and praying, as he heard of houses and church buildings being burned down close to the borders of Myanmar… a place what was his home. These weren’t just structures made of wood or cement – they were places of refuge for his people. He told us that he had run out of tears and did not know what to do anymore. But he clings to the hope of Jesus and his way. At the point of his sharing, around 120 church buildings had been burnt down.

In light of this continuing and growing conflict, the National Council of Australian Baptist Ministries came together to pray and work out how to stand in solidarity with the people of Myanmar. They call on the Australian government to:

    • increase humanitarian visas to refugees from Myanmar, particularly from ethnic areas such as the Chin, Kachin, Karen and Karenni States where people have been displaced and wait for settlement for upward of 35 years.
    • increase humanitarian aid to these ethnic areas that struggle to receive international support due to Myanmar Government restrictions.
    • increase pressure on the Myanmar government through further sanctions against individuals and companies associated with the Myanmar military and further action at ASEAN and the UN
    • increase pressure on the Indian Government to issue exit permits to refugees who have already been granted Australian visas.

Baptist World Aid Australia (BWAA) is leading robust, high level and direct conversations with DFAT, in partnership with other denominational church agencies regarding current (limited) spread of foreign aid and the acute need of local communities of every ethnicity. Baptist Mission Australia (BMA) are running an appeal as a way to support the humanitarian relief, build local care capacity, stand alongside pastors and support the development of a new generation of leaders. Please consider supporting this and publicising the opportunity to your church.

“If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.”  (1 Cor 12:26)

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