Burmese of Myanmar
Language: Burmese (Bama)
Primary Religion: Buddhism (94.95%)
% Evangelical Christian: 0.07%
Status: Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Persecution Rank: 33
For decades, the Burmese of Myanmar (formerly Burma) have lived in a tumultuous environment under an unstable and corrupt government. Sadly, they are no strangers to cruelty, violence, injustice, and fear. They live in villages, usually in one-room houses made of wood and dirt floors, and are predominantly Buddhists.
The traditional goal in Buddhism is to seek the middle path to nirvana, or ultimate peace. The Burmese have mixed these Buddhist beliefs with their own animistic beliefs (belief that non-living objects have spirits). Their animistic beliefs center around inherently evil spirits called nats. The Burmese spend their lives trying to appease the nats so that they will be protected from any other evil spirits that may seek to harm them. All Burmese homes have altars for the spirits, as well as a statue of Buddha. Sadly, the farmers (who mainly plant and harvest rice, the staple food of their nearly vegetarian diet) spend more in a year on their religion than on education, health, and clothing for their families. The Burmese, like other Buddhists, believe that death is not a threat to one who has done good deeds. Instead, death is simply a “passing” from one life to another. They believe that “rebirth” is determined by the accumulated good or bad deeds done in the previous life. Therefore, those who have earned less merit are reborn as demons, ghosts, animals, or inhabitants of hell.
Although things in Myanmar have improved slightly over the past year, it remains a nation in deep crisis. The harsh military regime refuses to relinquish governmental control to the rightfully elected leader, and a bloody civil war continues to devastate the nation.
- Ask for the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Myanmar and share the love of Christ with the Burmese.
- Ask God to use the Burmese believers to share the gospel with their own people.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will being faithfully interceding for these precious people.
- Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among the Burmese.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Burmese towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
- Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Burmese.