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Myanmar Christians pray for unity

Catholics, Baptists now able to work together

Myanmar Christians pray for unity reporter, Loikaw

January 25, 2011

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About 500 Christians from different denominations in Loikaw, eastern Myanmar, have gathered to pray for Christian unity at a special cross on Loinapha mountain in Kayah state. “We need to pray more for peace in the villages and even for the world, as the cross on the mountain resembles peace,” said Father Petru Pii. The 68-year-old Catholic priest from Loikaw diocese said Christians need to unite and work together for the villages’ development. Conflicts between Catholics and Baptists in Kayah State that had its origin during 1947-50 should be forgotten, he said. Father Pii said the Catholic Church and Baptist pastors decided to set up the big iron cross in December 1995 to symbolize peace. Since then, villagers have been praying together annually there. The Church celebrates the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an annual eight-day period observed from Jan. 18 to Jan. 25. At this time, Christians of various Churches come together to pray for the restoration of full unity among all Christian peoples. After prayers at the foot of the mountain, young Christians climbed the slope to place candles and white flowers in front of the cross before scattering them to signify peace. “Christian unity means all Christians live and act hand in hand according to their beliefs,” said Father Pii. He said Catholics and Baptists are no longer total strangers and are able to work together. Reverend Saw Htoo War, a Kayan Baptist pastor, said they have made many achievements through the unity program. There are no more criticisms and disputes among Christians and all villagers are ready to help one another, especially for the development of the villages, he said. Christian unity implies working jointly to create understanding and be supportive while living together, said Reverend Htoo War. Loinanpha mountain is 4,770 feet high and 28 kilometers south-west of Loikaw. The highland is surrounded by the villages of Kayah Catholics and Baptists. Related report Churches celebrate unity and friendship MY13010.1638
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