Shan-Tai prayer month 2011, day 5
The Burmese government has an official policy of equal rights for all religions. The Burmese Army strongly discourages any religion other than Buddhism.
This means that although Christian churches are allowed to exist, they have to ask permission to be able to do any alterations to their buildings, to construct new buildings and to evangelize. It is at the whim of the local authorities whether any of these activities are permitted.
For Shan Christians it is not only the authorities who frown upon their faith, their neighbours do also. Buddhist Shan folks have little knowledge of Christianity and are suspicious of it as a ‘new’ religion.
In Shan State where being different in any way could result in being targeted by the Burma Army, many Christians are afraid to speak about their faith. The safest thing to do is behave just as everyone else does.
Would we react any differently is such circumstances?
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
(Acts 4:13 ESV)
- Divine strength and endurance for the believers as they experience persecution from threatening communities (Acts 12:3–11).
- God to grant boldness to believers to speak and act upon their faith with conviction (Acts 4:29–31).