Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX
home iconNews
line break icon

Myanmar: ACN International calls for prayers for the Asian country

MYANMAR PROTEST

Robert Bociaga Olk Bon | Shutterstock

Aid to the Church in Need - published on 04/08/21

ACN Executive President Thomas Heine-Geldern supports the appeal made by Pope Francis 

In the face of escalating violence in Myanmar, the pontifical foundation ACN International is calling upon Christians all over the world to pray. ACN Executive President Thomas Heine-Geldern explained, “Christians all over the world can only look towards Myanmar with the deepest concern. For this reason, we are expressly backing the appeal made by Pope Francis: End the violence! Let us pray for this, particularly during the feast days of Easter.”

In mid-March, in response to the violence used by the military junta against the pro-democracy movement in the Asian country, Pope Francis called for the renunciation of violence and the initiation of a dialogue. This past weekend saw the bloodiest clashes yet since the coup began on February 1. According to press reports, security forces killed more than 100 people. It is estimated that well over 500 people have lost their lives since the beginning of the coup.

“I am shaken by the news that has reached us from Myanmar. The degree of brutality with which the security forces acted this weekend appears to be greater than at any time since the initial days of the coup. Armed with military equipment, the security forces were apparently prepared to shoot anyone whom they saw on the streets,” Heine-Geldern explained.

According to Heine-Geldern, there is no hope for a quick end to the confrontation. “According to the experts, neither side – nor the military nor the pro-democracy movement – is prepared to pull back. The military believes that it has the right to terrorize people in pursuit of ‘stability and security’. However, the movement on the streets, led by young people, is resolved to free the country from the military dictatorship. Things may get even worse.”

For this reason, Heine-Geldern is urgently calling for spiritual compassion. “Our sources tell us of a most profound inner and external distress. We need more prayer. We need peace and reconciliation. Please include the people of Myanmar in your daily prayers.”

However, the witness of the Catholic Church of Myanmar fills Heine-Geldern with hope. “The pictures of the religious sister kneeling to block the path of the troops, imploring for an end to the violence, are moving. The Catholic priest who, together with a Protestant priest, succeeded in negotiating the withdrawal of police and demonstrators is another powerful example. Hopefully, their actions will soften the hearts of those who are in charge.”

Only about 8% of the inhabitants of Myanmar are Christians. The vast majority of the population belongs to the Buddhist faith. ACN supports the local Catholic Church by funding the training and further education of religious and priests as well as catechesis for the faithful. Other projects are focused on the building and renovation of churches, chapels, parish houses and convents, as well as community and training centers.

This article was first published by Aid to the Church in Need and is republished here with kind permission. To learn more about ACN’s mission to help the suffering Church, visit www.churchinneed.org (if you are in the U.S.) and www.acninternational.org (outside of the U.S.).

Tags:
Myanmar
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
3
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
4
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
5
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
6
OSORNO
Brett Salkeld
How to vaccinate like a Catholic
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.