Pray for Yangon, Myanmar

Tourists in Myanmar’s former capital, Yangon, are often impressed with the sight of golden Buddhist pagodas and thousands of monks in red robes. Few visitors notice the many mosques which stand witness to a long and rich history of Muslims in Yangon. Today, officially 5{1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of Yangon’s population are Muslims, around 350,000. An estimated 10-20 {1ef34f8f1cacfdc6c19f5319e487deec2393c82eacea09a13da7feed1a24e305} of them are Rohingya from Rakhine State, but most are from Indian, Burmese, or even Chinese ethnic backgrounds.

Many Rohingya in Yangon today fled there for safety. Many still have family members in Rakhine State, where a decades-old conflict has led to the loss of basic rights and widespread violence for many. Other Rohingya in Yangon have their family spread out, becoming refugees across the world, but often in neighbouring Bangladesh.

Editors note: Since writing this article, there has been a coup in Yangon and the military has been harshly cracking down on protesters. Please take time to read more via OMF International.

Rohingya children in a refugee camp | By Peter Biro, European Union via Flickr CC

Traveling to see these distant family members is often not possible. “I haven’t seen my mother in over 20 years. I miss her!” one Rohingya man recently told a friend. Prejudice, discrimination, and persecution, however, are not limited to Rohingya, but extends to Muslims from other backgrounds as well.

There are no known believers among the Rohingya, and very few from other Muslim groups, in Yangon. There is very little outreach to Muslims by either international workers or local believers. Some within the Burmese church have made comments like “Jesus didn’t die for the Rohingya people!” and negative feelings about Muslims are present among more than a few.

How to Pray

  • The situation of Muslims in Yangon seems hopeless, but we know that “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).
  • Pray that Muslims who are longing for true peace and reconciliation would encounter the truth and beauty of Jesus. (Romans 15:13)
  • Pray for God to give the local Burmese speaking churches a heart for their Muslim neighbours. (1 John 2:3-6)

Learn More: Please visit www.pray4rohingya.org to learn more about the Rohingya and pray with insight.

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