Updated: June 29, 2021 10:10 AM GMT
Protesters hold flaming torches during a demonstration against the military coup in Dawei on June 28. (Photo: Dawei Watch/AFP)
The Pontifical Missionary Union, an organization of animation and formation within the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), has organized a special prayer service for peace in Myanmar.
The recitation of the rosary in Italian and Burmese will be in the Marian prayer service to be held at the International Missionary Animation Center (CIAM) in Rome at 4.40pm local time on June 29, according to the Vatican’s Fides agency.
Representatives of the PMS, staff of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and members of the association of priests, religious men and women of Myanmar in Rome who in recent months have made the international community aware of the dramatic situation in Myanmar will be among the participants.
The invitation to join the program was also extended to bishops and priests of Myanmar as well as to the national directors of PMS in various countries.
There will be a time of sharing on the life of faith and the evangelizing mission of the Church in Myanmar at the conclusion of the prayer.
It is a way to be a church on the move and underline the urgency of peace in Myanmar
“We follow the tragic situation in Myanmar every day and we want to express our spiritual closeness and our solidarity with the suffering nation. In this spirit and in full communion with Pope Francis, who has spoken of Myanmar on several occasions in his appeals, we want to unite ourselves spiritually with the Church in the nation in conflict,” said Father Anh Nhue Nguyen, secretary general of the Pontifical Missionary Union.
“We wish to invite all Catholic communities, in Italy and abroad, to join in the Marian prayer, at the same time, in spiritual communion. It is a way to be a church on the move and underline the urgency of peace in Myanmar, on the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to whom we entrust ourselves by invoking their special intercession.”
Pope Francis, joined by Catholic bishops and various Christian churches around the world, has expressed solidarity with the people of Myanmar and prayed for peace and reconciliation in the violence-hit country since the Feb. 1 coup.
The Southeast Asian nation, which had tasted relative freedom during a 10-year experiment with democracy, has descended into chaos following the return to military dictatorship after the overthrow of the elected civilian government.
The military’s brutal crackdown on anti-coup protesters has led to the deaths of nearly 900 people including at least 55 children.
Local armed resistance groups have sprung up in various parts of the country, which has led to an escalation in fighting and thousands of people being displaced in Karen, Kayah, Chin, Kachin and Shan states — predominantly Christian areas.
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