Understanding and unity among Christians, for peace and development in Myanmar
» 09/23/2011 13:10
by Yaung Ni Oo
These are the two principles that have inspired the second training course on ecumenism, organized by the Archdiocese of Yangon. Mgr. Bo urges Christians to work for the country’s democratic progress and political leaders to listen to the indications of religious leaders.
Yangon (AsiaNews) – Mutual understanding and unity: they are the two guiding principles of the second training course on ecumenism, organized on September 20 last year by the Archdiocese of Yangon and attended by about 100 Burmese Christians. Introducing the meeting Msgr. Charles Bo, Archbishop of the former capital of Myanmar, spoke of “the desire and the need to promote mutual understanding and unity” among the faithful, according to the prelate, the two elements are key to “working together on issues of pastoral and social concern”. An appeal also raised by U Tin Maung Win, leader of the Baptist church in the town of South Dagon, that the formation “helps dialogue and discussion in the Christian churches and promotes the work in the future.”
During the meeting, religious leaders have repeatedly noted the importance of the Christian community’s involvement in building the country, which has started on a slow journey toward democratic principles and economic reforms after decades of military dictatorship (see AsiaNews 2 / 09 / Aung San Suu Kyi calls for vigilance on Myanmar’s political changes). An issue also mentioned by the same Archbishop Bo, who said that the Church should play an active role – together with the political leadership – in pursuit of the desired changes in the former Burma.
“Political leaders – said the archbishop of Yangon – absolutely must invite religious leaders to join forces to improve the situation of the nation”, but added the prelate, often the government seems not to want this help. “Religion in Myanmar – he added – is rooted deep in our culture. Those in positions of political responsibility must be able to listen to the most senior leaders of all religions. ”
The meeting which involved hundreds of Christian leaders was held at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in conjunction with the International Day of Peace convened by the United Nations. Daw Yin Yin Maw, chairman of the Myanmar Council of Churches, invited the faithful to “continue to pray for peace in the country.” “We must not remain isolated – she said – in a period of great change.” The Christian leader judged the steps taken as “positive”, even if “slow” and the future direction “not very clear.”