Currents News Staff
Pope Francis’ papal organization – Aid to the Church in Need – is stepping in to provide extra support to priests, religious sisters, catechists, and needy families in Myanmar.
“The Church is emphasizing both in her appeals and still more by her work, that as a small minority in this country, she will do everything possible to promote peace and the development of the nation,” said Aid to the Church in Need’s Executive President, Dr. Thomas Heine-Geldern.
Sister Ann Rose Nu Tawng is just one example of the Church’s struggle for peace in Myanmar. A month after the coup broke out, this photo of her kneeling before the military forces begging for peace went viral on social media.
Yet Sister Ann Rose says her courageous act was merely a way of defending those behind her.
“I only wanted to defend the people since they were in danger,” said Sister Ann Rose of the Sisters of St. Francis Xavier. “I just wanted to save those people, the young people. For this reason, I got on my knees to let the young people escape from the danger.”
Although Sister Ann Rose is shown alone before the military in the photo, she says that God was always with her amid the danger.
“The Holy Spirit led me to make this gesture,” she said. “I thought that God was working through me to save these people. For this reason, I did it.”
While only six percent of Myanmar’s population is Christian, places of worship, including Christian churches, have been targets of military attacks. That makes the value of prayer all the more important.
Pope Francis has been one of the world’s most outspoken global leaders on the crisis in Myanmar. In May, he dedicated a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to pray for peace in the country.
“I know that some political and social situations are bigger than we are,” Pope Francis said. “Yet the commitment to peace and fraternity always comes from below: each person, in small ways, can play their part.”
Over 800 civilians have been killed by military forces in Myanmar since February and over 4,000 are currently being detained.