Pray For Burma

The National Council of Churches in Australia is writing to request your support for and promotion of a national day of prayer for Burma on Sunday, October 21.

The images of tens of thousands of Burmese monks, nuns and civilians marching in the cities of Burma, has highlighted the tragic situation facing millions of people in Burma today: brutal crackdowns on any opposition to the military regime, the forced labour of women and children, child slavery and extrajudicial killings.

The courageous leadership shown by the religious leaders of Burma is a call to us all in the international religious communities to stand with them in solidarity. As people of religion, this joining together to share in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Burma is a powerful act of showing solidarity.

We believe now is the time that Christians can come together to pray for change in Burma and to express our compassion and solidarity for those who live in a climate of fear. Now is the time for us to be the voice for the voiceless for those who have been repressed, incarcerated and silenced in Burma .

Below are some possible prayers that could be used or adapted for use by your churches on October 21. A range of events and interfaith initiatives are being proposed for later in the day. In Sydney , an interfaith gathering followed by a peace procession is being organi s ed to commence at Martin Place at 1:00pm.

It would be a strong message to have many people of faith who could participate in this interfaith gathering and procession to send a strong message to all governments that Australians are concerned about what is happening in Burma . We would greatly appreciate it if you could promote this event in your churches this coming Sunday October 14 .

Updated information about the interfaith gathering proposed in Sydney on October 21 as well as other initiatives planned around the country will be available on the NCCA website www.ncca.org.au and Caritas Australia website www.caritas.org.au . If you would like to put a link on your website it would be appreciated.

We would ask if you could encourage all your churches to participate in this national day of prayer for Burma .

Some Suggested Prayers for Burma:
We pray for peace and justice in Burma . We pray that the Burmese rulers may respect their people, and that the people may be given greatness of spirit in their struggle to live free from fear. We pray for a prosperous Burma in which all the people may live with dignity.

We pray for the Christians of Burma , that they may be faithful to their calling to represent their society with kindness and peace. We pray in thanks for the lives of the monks who have died and the courage of those who have been tortured for their faithfulness to the teaching. May their lives not be wasted but be the bricks out of which a new Burma is built.

We pray for the poor of Burma that they may find respect for their humanity. May they come to live in a nation that is governed for the good of all , where people of different cultures and languages can live as equal citizens of a shared land. May the present struggle lead to a free Burma .

We pray with those who struggle to build a better and more humane society in Burma . May they find strength to continue to live by their large hopes, and may our solidarity with them give them encouragement. We pray that the seed of freedom that has been watered with blood may spring green for all the people of Burma .

GeneralDanielle Strickland