Baptist World Alliance leaders are calling on the global Baptist community to pray, advocate and wear red ribbons as a sign of solidarity with the people of Myanmar.
The military seized control of the government in Myanmar—also known as Burma—on Feb. 1 and declared a state of emergency. Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation’s elected leader, and members of her party were placed under house arrest.
“As a result, all ethnic and religious minorities, as well as actors of conscience and conviction, are in grave danger,” BWA stated on its website.
The global Baptist fellowship quoted one leader in Myanmar who wrote: “With guns in hand, the military has ruled with an iron grip, arresting and destroying many lives. The whole country is mourning in grief, but this time the people did not come out to protest in the street, knowing many would be shot and killed.”
BWA noted “on-the-ground leaders” who reported blackouts of social media and international news networks. They also stated health care workers had been told any protest would result in their immediate arrest.
“Our people have lived under military dictatorships for more than 60 years, and the thought of our children and grandchildren having to go through this life cycle again is a dreadful thought,” another leader told BWA. “We have no guns but a God that protects us. Even though we walk through the darkest valley, we will fear no evil.”
BWA leaders urged Baptists globally to:
- Advocate. BWA already has sent letters to government officials. The organization has drafted a sample letter that can be downloaded, customized and mailed to the ambassador of a local embassy. Access the letter here.
- Pray. A prayer guide is available here. Baptists around the world also are encouraged to post a prayer for the people of Myanmar online here.
- Wear a red ribbon. As a sign of solidarity with the people of Myanmar, BWA is encouraging Baptists globally to wear red ribbons, take photos of themselves with their ribbons and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org so the images can be shared on social media.
BWA has passed a series of resolutions in recent years not only calling attention to the persecution of ethnic Christians in Myanmar, but also the Rohingya Muslims who have faced genocide.
On Feb. 10, President Joe Biden announced executive orders imposing sanctions on the military leaders in Myanmar who were involved in the coup and the detention of the country’s democratically elected officials. Biden said he will bar Burmese generals from accessing $1 billion in Myanmar funds held in the United States.