The archbishop of Mandalay in Myanmar called for prayers in the wake of continuing armed clashes in many parts of the country that have resulted in the displacement of people.
“May I call all priests and Catholic faithful to pray with me,” said Archbishop Marco Tin Win of Mandalay in a pastoral statement.
The prelate noted that the country continues to face the “crisis of COVID-19, starvation, outbreaks of war, and persecutions.”
“In prayer, you must have the right intention,” he addressed the religious, the clergy, and the lay faithful.
“Your life must be converted if it is in the wrong way. Then and only then, the effect of prayer will rapidly come to time,” said the archbishop.
In his “guidelines” for the “special prayers for peace,” the prelate urged everyone to pray every Saturday for one-hour and offer a Mass for peace on the first Sunday of every month.
Because of the pandemic and the political situation in the country, the Church in Myanmar faces “much apostolate,” said Sister Lucia Thandar Aung of the St. Joseph of Apparition congregation.
“We need reminders and encouragements from time to time,” said the nun in a report on Radio Veritas Asia.
The Chin Human Rights Organization has reported that at least 22 churches were burned down or destroyed between August and November in the country’s Chin state alone.
The US State Department has tagged Myanmar as a “country of particular concern” for engaging in egregious violations of religious freedom.
Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution in over 60 countries, ranks Myanmar as the 18th-worst country globally when it comes to Christian persecution.