Being a Christian in Myanmar — which, as Seinfeld fans will know, was formerly Burma — can be deadly.
Earlier this month, professed followers of Christ in the Southeast Asian state have faced a swell of persecution from United Wa State Army, a pro-Chinese militant group. The militia targeted churches near the border and kidnapped pastors. Myanmar’s largest rebel army charged that the houses of worship had been erected without their permission.
Asia News describes the radical organization’s mission thusly:
“The United Wa State Army (UWSA) orders its members to ‘find out what the [Christian] missionaries are doing and what are their intensions.'”
“[A UWSA statement released September 6th] pledges to punish any local officials who support missionary activities. It bans the construction of new Christian churches and requires that priests and workers in existing churches must be local not foreign.”
On Monday, the Morning Star News reported the closure of a dozen or more churches due to terrorism by United Wa State Army:
“’We confirmed that at least 12 churches have been destroyed or closed as of Sept. 20,’ a Christian leader who has lived in the Wa region for several decades told Morning Star News. The Wa people worship ancestral spirits, and the move by the UWSA was meant to hamper Christian missionary activity, said the leader on condition of anonymity.”
Government authorities may be part of the problem:
“Missionary activity among the Wa has long been carried out, but attacks have been growing steadily worse, and some suspect Chinese authorities are behind them, a local Christian leader who is a long-time resident in the Wa region told Morning Star News.
“‘There have been more restrictions on Christian religious organizations for three years,’ he said on condition of anonymity. ‘It has become worse. We don’t criticize other religions and don’t force non-Christians to convert into Christian.'”
Myanmar is roughly 9% Christian. Buddhism is the majority religion, practiced by 80% of the populace.
According to the Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List, which ranks the most difficult places in the world to be a Christian, Myanmar places 24th. North Korea is #1.
The United States doesn’t make the list of 50 nations; yet, some on the Left are fast attacking our founding faith. Like a terrorist organization burning down churches, the side of the political aisle which once protested on behalf of liberty and individualism has now converted to radical cultural Marxism, tearing down the Christian underpinning of our country one virtual edifice at a time. They have legislated a removal of faith due to its identity as religion, while instituting alternative values free of constraint by way of their secularism.
For examples, see the CrossFit employee who was fired for his belief in Biblical humility and the Christian flag that was refused by Boston’s City Hall. Quickly, the freedoms upon which America was established are being replaced by social justice, forced left-wing education, social media banning and Antifa violence. We conservatives have participated in the fascism, through our language, using the verbiage of the enemy. And though the U.S. may not be Myanmar, we are, progressively, not America.
We can learn from Myanmar. And North Korea. We can consider our comparative plight. And hopefully, find our way back to the foundations of the greatest country in the history of the world.
Our history is one of faith in God.
From the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit ofHappiness.”
From Benjamin Franklin:
“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth – that God governs in the Affairs of Men. I also believe, that without His concurring Aid, we shall succeed in this political Building no better thanthe Builders of Babel.”
From Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, about George Washington, favorably:
“Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was a sincere believer in the Christian faith, a truly devout man.”
These are the components of our nation’s beginnings. What will be the elements of its end? I fear we are living among them now. Devastating forces.
But we can rebuild. Like the reconstruction of a church lost to fire. A country lost to tyranny.
Like the Church, America can be resuscitated by revival.
Billy Graham had something to say about revival, and it sure seems applicable today. Not only to the world at large, but to the present state of politics in our national community:
A hostile world is seething with hatred, intrigue, lawlessness and godless aggression. The wicked prosper, and in many areas of the world the righteous suffer. People are confused, unstable and unhappy. Scarcely, if ever, has economic prosperity been accompanied by such widespread unhappiness, lawlessness and rebellion.
The heart of the world is aching for peace, for reality and for God. … That is the heart cry of thousands of people everywhere. It is our greatest need.
Too little is said in secular history about the part that spiritual revival has played in the United States. Soon after the colonists arrived, people’s minds turned to gold rather than God. The country bogged down with greed, the churches were poorly attended and the tide of atheism rushed in to fill up the vacuum left by the absence of religion.
But a group of people in New England began to pray for revival. In 1734 in Northampton, Mass., Jonathan Edwards preached his famous sermon on the judgment of God, and in a single service, hundreds repented of their sins and sought God. …
Woodrow Wilson once said, “America was born a Christian nation for the purpose of exemplifying to the nations of the world the principles of righteousness found in the Word of God.” John Adams, the second president of the United States, said, “The destiny of America is to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all men everywhere.” And Franklin Roosevelt once said, “I doubt if there is any problem, social, moral or political, that could not melt away before the fire of spiritual awakening.”
These are prominent leaders who have had the faculty of weighing and evaluating our needs. They put God and spiritual revival at the center, where they belong.
If we ever needed guidance, if we ever needed stability, if we ever needed strength, if we ever needed faith, if we ever needed integrity, if we ever needed righteousness, if we ever needed a Heaven-sent revival, it is at the present hour.
“But how,” you may ask, “do we achieve renewal and revival? What are the steps to spiritual awakening?”
First, there must be earnest prayer. The Bible says, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). … The Bible says, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16).
Second, we must forsake our sins. The Bible says, “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord” (Isaiah 55:7).
The bickering, the prejudices, the ill will, the envy, the jealousy, the bitterness and the criticism among Christian people today must end before revival can begin. The revival must begin in the hearts of Christians before evangelism can be brought effectively to the world.
When Christ’s disciples settled their differences, gave up their selfishness, confessed their sins and allowed God’s Spirit to fill them, revival came. We must forsake our evil ways. God’s Spirit cannot operate in a climate of dissension and quarrels. We must forsake our pettiness, our peevishness, our littleness and our whims.
Third, God must be real to us. The Bible says, “If My people … seek My face … then I will hear from heaven” (2 Chronicles 7:14). In a world filled with crass materialism, we have tried to whittle God down to our size. …
… God has said, “If My people … seek My face” (2 Chronicles 7:14). If we will rediscover that He is holy, righteous, real, absolute and personal, and that He is a God of love and mercy, then this reality will be transferred to the world and revival can come.
Sounds like good advice. And something to think about. Today.
And every day.
Am I calling for religious conversion? No. I’m saying we would be better off if those who believe would live as though they do. And if Americans would consider the high calling of faith, humility, and servitude.
For a reminder of whence we have come, please watch the video below.
Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on this article? Please sound off in the Comments section below.
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