Methodist Church stands in solidarity with Myanmar
The Methodist Church in Britain is standing in solidarity with its partners in Myanmar following the coup that occurred in the country at the start of February. Since the coup, there have been violent scenes in the country, with protesters being fired upon and a growing number of deaths.
The Myanmar Council of Churches has called for prayer and support in a statement of request that has been sent to churches around the world. The statement calls upon us to pray for justice and peace in Myanmar, requests the release of those detained by the military regime, action on the control of Covid-19 and an end to the use of force and discrimination.
The Revd Conrad Hicks, Director of Global Relationships at the Methodist Church in Britain, commented, "We stand in wholehearted solidarity and prayer with our partner, the Myanmar Council of Churches, and wish to reiterate their call for an end to the violence and discord within the country."
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have released a prayer in response to the call for support:
Lord Jesus we stand together with the people of Myanmar at this time of turmoil and unrest.
We hold before you our sisters and brothers in the Methodist Church of Upper Myanmar.
We pray for peace and justice for all citizens and for an end to division and conflict.
We pray for your church in Myanmar and pray for your people as they shine the light of Jesus which the darkness cannot overcome, showing your love and compassion for all people.
In solidarity with our partner, the Myanmar Council of Churches, we renounce the forces of destruction and despair and pray for your peace, hope, joy and unity to prevail.
The Revd Richard Teal, President of the Methodist Conference
Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
Statement of Request by the Myanmar Council of Churches
1) We, share the fears and serious concerns of all people in Myanmar over the Tatmadaw's control of power following the recent declaration of a one-year state of emergency in the country. We call on the Tatmadaw to immediately release President U Win Myint, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and others detained and request the pursuance of reconciliation.
2) The State and the people of Myanmar are making decisive actions for prevention, control, and treatment of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and working tirelessly to combat the outbreak. As we combine our efforts and resources to slow the spread of the virus, we stress the importance of keeping in mind the COVID-19 health and safety protocols so that we do not lose a soul going forward.
3) We request all citizens of Myanmar to refrain from discrimination and the use of force among each other but instead, to take the responsibility to support each other and pledge the continuing efforts to take steps together to a brighter future.
4) We thank all the support received from our friends around the world who realize the potential of Myanmar to be a free, democratic, and prosperous country. We request your support to help fill the major gaps in the overall development needed for the people of Myanmar.
5) We call on people from all religions to bind our hearts together and remember in your prayers for our nation to attain justice and peace, as well as for development and hope. We request our fellow Christians to humble ourselves before God with an expectant heart to start fasting and prayer for our country.