Three Years on from the Military Coup in Myanmar

“It’s been three years now and it’s hard to say what will happen from now on. However, we are very grateful for your prayers. God is good to us.”  These are the words of the President of the Methodist Church Upper Myanmar, Rev Malsawmthanga.  He has sent points for prayer, and explains some of the many challenges that the church faces as the country marks three years since the military coup on February 1st, 2021.

  • For the betterment of our country, please pray for Myanmar.

The country is in turmoil and all the people are facing difficulties. Especially in 2023, the crisis intensified and we faced difficulties in managing the paddy fields which provide the main source of local income for most people, so we harvested less than other years.  The conflict has made it difficult to earn a living, costs are going up fast and the rise in inflation is unpredictable.  Churches and NGOs are doing our utmost to help the poorest of the poor.

  • For the families of those who have lost their lives in the conflict, those who have lost their homes and those who have been injured

The information that we have reports 26 members dead and 32 injured, with 182 homes burned down and 102 damaged. However, we are unable to contact two of our eleven Districts, so it is likely that the numbers are considerably higher. 

  • For the safety of our members in the most difficult areas

About 85% of the Methodist Church in Upper Myanmar's (MCUM) church members live in the most troubled areas of the country.  Although most members have stayed in their own homes, they cannot live in peace because they are exposed to bombs and gunfire. In some places, on the orders of community leaders, they have built their own trenches and bunkers for protection.

  • For those who have fled for safety, to India, to neighbouring villages, and to the forest

There is particular concern for those who flee to the forest and in the urgency of escape are unable to take food, drink and clothes.

  • For children and young people whose education has been disrupted

Also for young people who have gone abroad to work and do what they can to help by sending back money.

  • That we may hold District Synod meetings and Conference Annual Meetings safely

During February, Synod meetings are due to be held in each District, but most Districts have not yet decided whether they will be able to hold Synod meetings.

  • For MCUM to continue to have church ministry even under difficulties

In the past three years, the Districts that are able to contact us have reported that ten churches have been burnt down, and a further eight damaged.  Because phone signals are blocked and Internet connections are disrupted, we are not able to communicate with some places for months at a time. We’re just scattered, and cannot have a good church ministry as we used to. However, we can hold worship services in most places and our ministry continues. God is good to us.