Myanmar: Archbishop of Yangon testifies to people's "tenacity" and "resilience"

“Young people and all citizens are showing tenacity and resilience. They are determined not to allow democracy, freedom and peace, which have been hard won, to be annihilated. Young people do not accept that hope is stolen from them. Their strength of soul is a source of great inspiration for all of us. "

In an interview withAgenzia Fides, the Archbishop of Yangon, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo ndb who is also president of the Myanmar Bishops' Conference spoke about the protests against the Coup d'état of February 1 and on the positioning of the country's Catholic community at the heart of the tensions.

An interview that opens with a call to prayer for all Christians around the world in this period of Lent, so that Myanmar does not abandon “hope” and advance “with faith, love and dialogue” on the path which leads to “freedom, peace and democracy”.

“During this Lent, let us not give up the hope that Myanmar will resurrect. The path to be followed with faith, love and dialogue constitutes a path of truth and justice, which leads to freedom, peace and democracy. To achieve this, we need the prayer of all our brothers and sisters around the world. "

It is with "deep sorrow" that the cardinal describes the situation of his country which "suddenly fell back into the nightmare of military repression, brutality, violence and dictatorship ”.

About the peaceful protests for the return of democracy, the cardinal salutes “the incredible courage, commitment and creativity” and the “maturity” of the Burmese people. He also evokes the “tenacity” and “resilience” of citizens and in particular of young people who continue to protest despite the violent repressions of the army to silence them.

“Young people do not accept that hope is stolen from them. »Declares the archbishop who adds that« their strength of soul »is a« source of great inspiration ». He also evokes the solidarity which reigns at the heart of the demonstrations "between people of various ethnicities and religions, side by side for the same cause, a good for the people".

The cardinal wishes to see "a Myanmar in which the military lower their arms, leave power and do what an army should do: protect and not attack the people". While waiting to see this wish come true, he affirms that the church “instrument of justice, peace and reconciliation” must act in this situation.

“The Lord calls the Church to be an instrument of justice, peace and reconciliation, to comfort the afflicted, to fight against hatred with love, to save human lives. "

An interview that he concludes with a message of hope which is "at the center" of faith. The Archbishop affirms in particular that the Church will work in prayer and in action "so that a new Myanmar can be reborn from this tragedy as a nation". A nation in which "every human being has a real share in fundamental rights and freedoms and where peace is genuine".

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image Credit: Robert Bociaga Olk Bon /

Article originally published in March 2021. 

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