Over the next month, we will be sharing prayer requests from Southeast Asian Christian leaders. Surrounded by India to the west, China to the north, Papua New Guinea to the east, and Australia to the south, Southeast Asia is an economically, culturally, and religiously diverse region that is home to approximately 10% of the global population. Learn more about Southeast Asia here.
This week, please join us in prayer for Nok Kam in Myanmar.
Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is home to nearly 54 million people from 135 ethnic groups. Approximately 88% of Burmese practice Theravada Buddhism, which has shaped the country’s history and culture over the past millennium. Christians and Muslims, who represent 6% and 4% of the population respectively, face persecution and exclusion in the predominantly Buddhist nation. Following violent attacks in 2017, nearly one million Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh, Thailand, India, Malaysia, and other countries. Since the military coup in 2021, junta forces have killed over two thousand civilians and arrested another 14 thousand. Over one million people remain internally displaced. Pray for our Lord to protect and provide for those in need, to meet all who suffer with healing and hope, and to sustain our courageous sisters and brothers in Myanmar.
Nok is pursuing a PhD in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. Through his research, Nok seeks to renew Christian identity and mission in Myanmar’s Buddhist society. His studies will inform his pastoral ministry and strengthen his teaching at Chin Christian Institute of Theology (formerly Zomi Theological College). Pray for Nok’s family as they live apart due to the violence in Myanmar. Nok and his wife Ngai Khan Lun remain in Myanmar to support their church members and community, while their four teenagers are taking refuge in India.
Nok shares the following message:
After finishing my proposal defense and comprehensive exams in July 2020, I came back to Myanmar that August in the hope of doing my field-based research among the Buddhist Burmese there. Right after my arrival, however, the second wave of COVID-19 hit. As a result, travel restrictions in Myanmar prevented me from pursuing my research until January 2021. Unexpectedly and unfortunately, the military coup occurred on February 1 that same year, resulting in continuous and severe protests. Consequently, there are explosions and gunfire every day.
My children have been taking refuge in India since March 2022. Since most of my church members are still in our village, my wife and I have remained with our people and are pastoring them. Recently, one of my colleagues, a Baptist pastor, and his family were arrested because of unreasonable suspicion. Due to the political unrest, my research plans are still unrealized.
1. Pray for the safety of my family and myself.
2. Pray for my studies so that I can complete them as soon as possible and resume my teaching ministry effectively.
3. Pray for the restoration of democracy in Myanmar.
4. Pray for my people, who are displaced internally and externally.
5. Pray for my people, who are fighting for freedom and democracy.
6. Pray for my people, who are suffering under the pressures of authoritarian brutality and incredible inflation.
Thank you so much for your prayers!