2021 Myanmar Coup Update


Update and Prayer Requests on the Situation in Myanmar/Burma

March 2, 2021 - Myanmar opened to the outside world in 2011 having been highly restricted for many decades. It was extremely difficult to get Bibles into the country before 2011, outside of official channels. It would not be a stretch to say that the many Christians who belonged to ethnic minorities were famished for the Word of God when the country opened up in 2011. Since 2015, working with our partners and contacts God has allowed us to get 100,219 Bibles to the Lahu, Tedim Chin, Falam Chin, Asang Khongcaa Chin, Kachin, Pwo Karen, Akha, and Sqaw Karen. Thank you Lord!

Myanmar was ruled by an Iron fisted military from 1962 - 2011, when the military allowed parliamentary elections to take place in a bid to transition to a hybrid democratic-military system and a desire to open to western investment. From 2011 - 2020, a civilian government quasi-ruled the country, sharing power with the military behind the scenes, though the military retained the true power as the civilian government never controlled the military or key cabinet positions.


In the Nov. 2020 elections, the ruling NLD party won 83 percent of the parliament body’s available seats in an election that saw huge numbers of minority ethnicities barred from voting. The Burmese military refused to accept the results claiming fraud and on February 1, 2021 seized power from the civilian run government in a coup d’etet by arresting key NLD leaders, parliamentarians, the President, cabinet members, and the top civilian leader. International and domestic flights were shut down and the internet was cut off. The military has declared a state of emergency for one year.

Large scale protests have erupted since the February 1 coup with (as of 3/1/2021) at least 25 protester deaths and over 1,000 arrests [1]. We have heard from contacts and partners that the military and police are cracking down hard on the protesters. One contact inside Myanmar shared that the military is letting over 23,000 criminals out of prison if the prisoners will start fire to houses and poison cisterns to cause chaos and fear. In areas where there are significant numbers of ethic minorities or areas that have seen conflict in the ongoing 70+ year civil war - especially in Kayin/Karen State - the people are increasingly fearful of the military moving in and fearful of being taken as slaves if and when they do. We have heard of a significant increase in the tension and fighting between the Burmese military and ethnic minority fighters, particularly the Karen Army.

Kayin State_Myanmar.jpg

When chaos at the governing level occurs, it is the most vulnerable that suffer: the poor, orphaned, widowed, persecuted, neglected, and outcast. One of our partners runs children’s homes and schools in the conflict zones in Myanmar and on the border with Thailand. They have shared that a number of children from these schools have had to flee to the Jungle to stay safe from the Burmese military. Please pray for the safety of these children and their schools and orphanages.

  • Pray for a peaceful, quick resolution to this situation in Myanmar.

  • Pray for the ethnic minorities and the vulnerable in these conflict zones that God will protect them all and provide for all of their physical needs.

  • Pray for increased turning to Jesus of all ethnicities in the country.

  • Pray that we and our network of friends would be able to resume getting God’s Word to those who need it in Myanmar, and that the amount of God’s Word going in would actually increase and grow despite the situation!


[1] "Myanmar’s Military Deploys Digital Arsenal of Repression in Crackdown" The New York Times, nytimes.com [home page online]; available from https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/world/asia/myanmar-coup-military-surveillance.html; accessed 2 March 2021