April 24, 2021
FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – In response to the ongoing violence and unrest within the nation of Myanmar, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is calling Baptists worldwide to unite in prayer, reflection, and action during a Myanmar Red Ribbon Solidarity Weekend scheduled for April 28-May 2.
In partnership with global Baptist leaders, Baptist World Aid (BWAid) Director Marsha Scipio has mobilized an array of response resources outlining ways for Baptists to learn, pray, share, and speak out at this critical time.
“The blood-stained streets of Myanmar are a clarion call for the global Baptist family to mourn with our sisters and brothers in Myanmar,” said Scipio. “This is not a mourning veiled only with tears, but we will pray to the God that is near to the brokenhearted and act in obedience to the God that beckons us to seek justice and correct oppression.”
Baptist pastors are invited to utilize mid-week Bible study gatherings and a portion of their weekend worship service to call congregations to pray and respond. In support of church participation in this initiative, the BWA has assembled a variety of resources that includes a fact sheet, biblical reflections, prayer guides, social media graphics, slide presentations, and videos.
In collaboration with Asia Pacific Baptist Youth, youth worldwide are also invited to stand in solidarity with the young people of Myanmar. The protests in response to the military coup in February have largely been organized by those in their teens and twenties, but the military has responded with brutality. The average age of the casualties is only seventeen. Youth are encouraged to mobilize on Saturday, May 1, for prayer and a social media share initiative.
“I have watched with increasing sadness and a sense of helplessness at the extent of violence unleashed upon the unarmed and innocent civilians,” said Roshan Mendis, Asia Pacific Baptist Aid (APBAid) Director. “I’ve also not ceased to be amazed at the creativity and indomitable spirit of resilience in the face of ever-mounting odds by the people of Myanmar. And it has compelled me to stand in solidarity with them.”
Baptists are invited to engage daily with a strategic focus. Wednesday, April 28, is Study Day with devotional content to help people reflect on God’s Word. Thursday, April 29, is Advocacy Day centered on mobilizing support and signatures. Friday, April 30, is Prayer Day to unite Baptists worldwide in a time of global prayer. People are encouraged to pray for seven minutes at 7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. in honor of the more than 700 people who have been killed in 2021. A form is also available online to share your prayers with the people of Myanmar.
Saturday, May 1, is Share Day in which people – especially youth – are invited to wear a red ribbon and post on social media with the hashtag #standwithmyanmar. Sunday, May 2, is Worship Day with an emphasis on preaching and proclamation.
“As a global Baptist body, when one part is injured, the pain is felt by us all. We are standing in solidarity not only with our Baptist family in Myanmar but also with the people of Burma as they struggle mightily to retain their democratic rights assured under the constitution of Myanmar,” said Steve Sanderson, Deputy Director for Mission at BMS World Mission. “Both our call to those who wield global influence, as well as our prayers to the One who is sovereign over all of creation, is that the civil and political freedoms which the people of Myanmar are being sorely denied should be restored without further delay.”
To learn more about the Myanmar Red Ribbon Solidarity Weekend or to sign up to participate, visit BaptistWorld.org/stand-with-myanmar.
The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 241 conventions and unions in 126 countries and territories comprising 49 million baptized believers in 174,000 churches. For more than 100 years, the Baptist World Alliance has networked the Baptist family to impact the world for Christ with a commitment to strengthen worship, fellowship and unity; lead in mission and evangelism; respond to people in need through aid, relief, and community development; defend religious freedom, human rights, and justice; and advance theological reflection and leadership development.