“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
For months, Myanmar’s anti-junta civilian militias have been anticipating D-Day: the call to full-on, armed revolution against the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military. Over 125 locally formed “People’s Defense Force” (PDF) militias have been waging guerrilla attacks against the junta for many months in both urban and rural areas. Many PDF groups pledged allegiance to the National Unity Government (NUG), Myanmar’s shadow civilian government, which instructed PDFs as early as June to await its signal for a nationwide wave of coordinated attack. This signal was set to be the trigger for an all-out war against the Tatmadaw. On Tuesday this week, the long-awaited call came and confirmed the tide of rumors that had been rising for months: D-Day was here.
The NUG’s declaration of war on the Tatmadaw boldly proclaimed that the unity, passion, and persistence of Myanmar’s people would shorten the time needed for the revolution to succeed. Rural PDF groups, often combatting the Tatmadaw’s heavy artillery with little more than homemade hunting rifles, frequently claim to inflict significant casualties on junta forces. Urban PDF cells have been using targeted bombings and killings against local junta offices, personnel, and suspected military informants. Many PDF fighters share the NUG’s confidence that their combined efforts will topple the Tatmadaw and uproot military dictatorship from Myanmar once and for all.
Expert analysts are less certain regarding the NUG’s prospects for military victory. PDFs all over Myanmar operate in scattered localities, with no central command; their organization and level of arms vary widely. Myanmar’s larger and more established ethnic minority armies in Myanmar’s borderlands — which are far better resourced, have fought the Tatmadaw for decades, and would be crucial to a sustained civil war effort — have sometimes supplied arms or combat training to rural PDF groups, but only a few have united beneath the NUG’s banner thus far. History has shown that urban guerrilla warfare, even when strongly supported by the local population, faces great odds in prevailing or surviving in well-garrisoned cities. The NUG and its allies are fighting an uphill battle, and the odds are stacked against them.
In all of this, we must not lose sight of our true Enemy. In the coming days, the stories of the victories and tragedies of war will continue to pour out of this nation. In the face of the atrocities of war and oppressive regimes, it is easy to hate people instead of sin. It is easy to falsely and foolishly believe that this life, and the things that happen here, matter more than the things of eternity. Join us on our knees, to pray and wage war against the Enemy who desires to wreak havoc in the hearts and lives of the military, the NUG, and the people of Myanmar.
- Pray that God would deliver Myanmar from war, violence, chaos, and every tactic of Satan, Myanmar’s worst and truest Enemy.
- Pray that the Lord would work in the midst of this turmoil to deliver many hearts from fear, hatred, and the bondage of sin.