Myanmar believers on the front lines of the coup and Covid

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By Mark Ellis –

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair. (1 Cor.4:8)

Since February 1st, when a military coup overthrew the civilian government in Myanmar/Burma, more than 900 people have been killed by security forces, with thousands arrested or displaced, while 2620 lost their lives due to Covid during the last week of July, based on reported figures.

Christian missionaries who have remained in Myanmar feel the double threat.  “In the last two weeks MANY pastors of churches have died from Covid,” Sister Teresa* told God Reports. “Please pray for the sheep in these contexts, as many are starving now.

“Two strong members of the church here have passed away in the last week,” she reports.

The Delta variant hit the country severely. “Our son’s school is closed and the amount of Covid deaths is surging. Every day we hear the Covid ambulance siren almost every 2-3 hours. This ambulance siren is different from the standard ambulance.

“Recently the military required each family to have a “card” they have to show on demand if they go outside the house. At this point only one person is allowed to go out per family, to the market, hospitals, etc.”

Many businesses have been affected. “In our town over 95% of the shops are closed! Of course the shops that are owned by the military (including shopping malls) are still open. They don’t care if Covid is transmitted in these places as long as they make their money! I don’t know what the numbers are for daily deaths, but I hear enough ambulances daily to make me think that it is a lot.”

Sister Teresa’s church has been closed for over one and a half years. “Most people don’t use Zoom in this fellowship,” she says. “When the church was open there was a weekly attendance of about 25 people, so when two people die it’s a big hit.”

The military presence in her area is significant. “Most people are still in lockdown mode at home. Now more and more people are ordering oxygen machines for their homes, in case someone gets Covid.  Hospitals don’t have any since the military confiscated most of the oxygen tanks.”

Sadly, some malicious people have filled oxygen tanks with natural gas and sold it to families who have loved ones suffering from Covid. “This has been a death wish for quite a few,” she reports.

“The military purchased lots of Chinese vaccines and are trying to vaccinate but people don’t want it. They believe it is worse than no vaccine. In a nearby town, soldiers are going door to door requiring households to get the vaccine, but people are keeping the doors and windows shut as though no one is home so they don’t receive the vaccine.”

“Some UN representatives stated on Thursday that if Myanmar doesn’t start vaccinating now within two weeks half of the 54 million people that live here could become positive.

“Finally, on a positive note… as inflation skyrockets on daily living items some people and towns have been giving away or selling at greatly reduced prices vegetables, rice, oil, eggs, etc.

“May God have mercy on this country. Please keep praying for Myanmar, the Coup and Covid 19.”

 

*name changed