Pray for the Panthay Muslims of Myanmar

In the old Burmese royal capital of Mandalay alongside the palace, golden pagodas and Buddhist monasteries, there is an unexpected sight worth seeing: an ancient Chinese-style mosque. It was built in 1868, by Muslim Hui people from the neighbouring Chinese province of Yunnan.

The Hui, who are called Panthay in Burmese, came to what is now Myanmar to trade. They settled down permanently and were given permission to construct the mosque. Later years would see thousands more Panthay fleeing from violent conflict in Yunnan across the Burmese border.

Today, an estimated 30,000 – 50,000 Panthay live in northern Myanmar. Ma Pyu is one of them. A young and educated woman, who practices a moderate form of Islam, she is still unmarried. Following tradition, her parents are searching for a suitable husband for Ma Pyu. However, within the small Panthay community they cannot find someone of her age, education, and social standing.

Asked whether he would look for a Muslim groom from another ethnic background such as Burmese or Indian, Ma Pyu’s father replied, “Never! I would rather take a Chinese Buddhist!” The Panthay are deeply rooted in their Chinese culture and language. Compared to the Rohingya or other Muslim people groups in this area, the Panthay are less discriminated against by the Burmese majority.

So far, there are no known efforts to introduce the Panthay to the Gospel. A military coup in February 2021 and Covid-19 restrictions further hinder access into Myanmar.

How to Pray

  • Pray that God would call laborers to serve among the Panthay and that they will find access into Myanmar and into the Panthay community. (Luke 10:2)
  • For God to prepare the hearts of many Panthay so that His Word would fall on fertile ground and produce much fruit. (Mark 4:8)
  • That many Panthay would hear God’s Word in their language and through discerning witnesses for Jesus. (2 Peter 3:9)

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