5 Million Christians Under Persecution
Most Christians don’t know about the genocide being committed against the Karen people of Myanmar – formerly Burma…
The media ignores it.
Too many Christians who know about it are silent.
The Karen people (pronounced Ka–REN) – all 5 million of them – have been targeted for genocide…
Because some of them want independence from the brutal military-led regime in Myanmar … and because 15-20% of them are Christians.
That’s right … the Myanmar army wants to wipe them out just because they are followers of Jesus Christ and not followers of Buddha.
In the past 10 years, one out of every 4 refugees coming to the U.S. has come from Myanmar – formerly Burma.
More than 70,000 Karen people have come to escape religious persecution.
Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country of 53 million people in Southeast Asia … bordered by India and Bangladesh on the west … Laos and Thailand on the east … China on the north … and the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea on the South.
Interestingly, the Karen people historically resisted all attempts by the Burmese to turn them into Buddhists.
Because their ancient prophets and tribal elders had passed down through the generations a story about a “white brother” who would bring them a book that would teach them the truth about all things … and would set them free from all who were oppressing them…
And they believed the author of this book was Y’wa – the Supreme God!
To strengthen their tribal beliefs in the unknown Y’wa, Karen prophets wrote and taught hymns to the people … hymns containing amazingly accurate character attributes of the God of the Bible – such as:
- His eternal existence
- He is the creator of all things – including mankind
- His omnipotence
- His omniscience
- He sits in heaven … and earth is the treading place of His feet
The hymns even speak of Mu-kaw-lee (Satan) deceiving two persons … causing them “to eat the fruit of the tree of trial” … and describing the consequences of the Fall…
If these prophecies and hymns of the Karen elders were the result of ancient Jewish influence, there would be mention of Old Testament patriarchs such as Abraham and Moses … but there is no mention of such prophets … or of the Ten Commandments.
Similarly, if the Karen traditions could be traced back to Christian influence from the 8th century … or to later Catholic missionary contacts from the 16th to the 18th centuries … there would be mention of an incarnation … or of a Redeemer dying for sins and rising from the dead.
Those events are all missing in Karen folklore…
We can only conclude that what we have here is an incredible example of how God reveals Himself to people all over the world whose hearts are prepared to respond to the gospel message…
In 1817, the long-awaited “white brother” came across the sea from the west – just as Karen tradition had foretold – and brought the long-awaited book from Y’wa.
His name was Adoniram Judson…
The complete story of the Karen people … and of Adoniram Judson’s work on their behalf … is told in chapter 2 of the book Eternity in their Hearts, by Don Richardson.
I highly recommend this book…
The book title comes from Ecclesiastes 3:11…
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
The story of the Karen proves without question the truth of this verse…
The U.S. government and the Trump administration have an opportunity to take the lead on the important human rights issue regarding the Karen people … and make it clear to the world that we will not tolerate genocide.
And as Christians, we have an opportunity to pray:
- For deliverance from annihilation for the Karen people
- That those who are Christians will share their faith boldly with those who aren’t … and that many will trust Christ as Savior and Lord
- That Congress will adopt a resolution condemning the genocide in Myanmar
- That the Trump administration will use the Global Magnitsky Act to sanction the military leaders in Myanmar and cut them off from support from the West
To listen to Ravi Zacharias tell the story of Adoniram Judson – the first missionary to Burma – click here (6 ½ minutes). Very powerful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c9u_TWN-lM
What do you think? Write me at [email protected]