|Sources of Persecution||Religious Nationalism|
|Leader||President Htin Kyaw|
Myanmar: A New Chapter.
Myanmar had its first free and fair elections for 25 years in 2016. Christians and other minorities have been under attack from government forces for many years. Violence against Christians has dropped in the last year, although pressure for Christians in other spheres has increased. Pressure comes from both sides: from radical Buddhist groups on one side, and the government on the other. In 2016, the Laws on the Protection of Race and Religion were implemented by the government, seeing a large increase in persecution against Christians.
An Uncertain Future.
The country must ask the question what path it will take with religion. Buddhism is the majority religion, and could be used to instigate nationalism and further marginalise every other religion. The Buddhist majority have so far put in place attempts to try and curb the spread of Islam. Christians are also viewed with suspicion. A Christian was appointed to the role of vice-president, resulting in protests. Several challenges from years of war are also present. Poverty, mistrust and corruption are big issues, particularly in rural areas.
Myanmar has always been a tumultuous place. In 1948 the country achieved independence but chose not to become a Commonwealth nation. In 1962 the country set its modern trajectory when a military coup took place. The military ruled almost every aspect of life, oppressing citizens and opposition. A series of civil wars occurred as minorities rebelled against the brutal dictatorship. From 2008-10 the country went through a series of reforms. In this period the country was renamed Myanmar and a path to democracy made possible.
Pray for Christians to contribute in the rebuilding of Myanmar.
Pray that Buddhist nationalists would not target Christians.
Pray for many Muslims and Buddhists to now have an opportunity to hear the gospel.