Myanmar: WHY MY PEOPLE NEED THE GOSPEL
Ronald Laldinsuah | JUNE 17, 2019 | 2 MIN READ
During June, SOLA will be publishing a series, “Why My People Need the Gospel” to highlight the global need for the good news of Jesus Christ.
To pray for God's kingdom work more effectively, we must learn about those we are praying for so that we can pray more specifically and intentionally. Therefore we will be publishing short guides written by people of those countries and cultures so we can exhort the body to pray for all nations. Please note that these responses are just snapshots of the complex socio-political issues of the countries and are not all-encompassing.
We hope this series will encourage and challenge you to pray globally for all nations to be united under the rule of Christ.
Myanmar is a country in southeast Asia that is bordered by India and Bangladesh to the west, Thailand and Laos to the east, and China to the north and northeast. Myanmar became a British colony in the 19th century, and it was granted independence in 1948. But in 1962, a military coup takeover led to the creation of a military dictatorship, which ruled until 2011.
Ronald Laldinsuah, who lives in Yangon, Myanmar, shares with us about his country.
SOLA: What are some of the major political struggles of Myanmar?
RL: Myanmar has been in democratic transition with complex political problems. We effectively have two governments — the elected government and the powerful military (the remnant of the repressive regime which was in power for decades), which still hold three key ministries. Our inexperienced elected government struggles to achieve our many democratic goals. Change and reform are threatening for nationalists and the military. Ethnic peoples' demand for rights and self-determination are still out of sight, as they have been for over a century.
SOLA: What are some of the major cultural struggles of the Myanmar people?
RL: Myanmar is comprised of over 100 different ethnicities. Each ethnic group has distinct cultural values. The majority ethnic groups are Buddhists, while the minority ethnic groups are primarily Christians. Distrust or misunderstandings between different nationalities, due to political and religious values, are major cultural problems.
SOLA: What are some of the biggest barriers to Christianity for the people of Myanmar?
RL: I believe the main barrier as a Christian in bringing the Gospel to the unreached people is our social identity. This cultural barrier is huge. Christians in Myanmar are regarded as their own ethnic people while Bamar majority would identify themselves as Buddhists. Nationalism and religion go hand in hand. Can we sacrifice our identities for the sake of the Gospel — our languages, cultural values, and nationalities?
SOLA: How can we pray Myanmar and the people of Myanmar?
Please pray that the democratic transition in Myanmar comes quicker and smoother. The country desperately needs political change to address socioeconomic and racial problems. Please pray that more Christians are willing to sacrifice our cultural values for the sake of Christ.
Pray that theological educators, like me, in Myanmar provide education that is relevant and contextual in order to address the need of the nations.
Ronald Laldinsuah attends Hlaingthaya Community Church in Langon, Myanmar.