“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
The military junta continues to use strategies of fear and ruthless violence to control the people of Myanmar. Civilians walking along main roads are often stopped and closely interrogated by soldiers demanding to see and inspect their cellphones. If the soldiers find anything that suggests anti-military sentiments — in social media posts, private messages, photos, or electronic payments — citizens can easily be arrested and thrown in prison. Home searches have become more frequent and violent, as the junta has legally removed provisions requiring witnesses to be present during home searches. The fear of surveillance pales in comparison to the fear of brutality – many stories of horrific torture sessions have spilled out of Myanmar’s jails.
The response of the people of Myanmar has been mixed. Some are shaken by the military junta’s surveillance and have become more hesitant to spread anti-coup news in their social media feeds. Others continue to actively resist the coup on social media, opting to avoid main roads to keep from being interrogated and searched. Those who have been tortured and released by the junta in prison are often filled with hatred, bitterness, and a desire for vengeance. Many who are dissatisfied and angry with the junta’s injustice and corruption are fleeing to rebel armies in Myanmar’s borderlands for combat training, believing the only solution is armed conflict.
Meanwhile, several Christian villages in northern Karen State have held fast to a peaceful, joy-filled life. Though they have also experienced the junta’s violence firsthand, having their property destroyed and their families and friends killed, but they pray for righteousness and peace instead of vengeance. Their villages are still filled with the sound of laughter, children playing, and songs of worship. Though deeply aware of the injustice and evil of their situation, they choose to hold fast to the Lord and their love for one another.
- Pray that the Lord would make Himself known to those in the military junta and those turning to vengeance. Pray for humility and repentance that only the Lord God can bring.
- Pray that the example of hope and love represented by such Christians would capture the attention and admiration of the rest of the nation. Pray that those who do not know Christ would desire to have this same incredibly resilient love.