Buddhist monks take part in a mass protest by thousands of people in Mandalay on Feb. 8. (Photo: UCA News)
Catholic leaders have called on Myanmar’s leaders to pursue dialogue as the best way to find a rightful solution to the nation’s political crisis.
Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay said the people of Myanmar have expressed their desire through peaceful protests on the streets following the Feb. 1 military coup.
“We need dialogue, which is the effective way to solve the problems and our differences,” Bishop Pyone Cho stressed.
He called for special prayers over the uncertain political situation.
“As a bishop, I emphasize faith in God who will help change the country,” he said.
Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw in Kachin state said Catholics need to continue doing fasts, prayers and adoration under the guidance of bishops.
“As Catholics, we must trust God and deepen our faith as God can do everything,” he said.
The bishop raised his concerns that the peaceful protests on the streets may lead to violence.
“We hope that the country’s leaders will find the right solution through transparency,” he said.
Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon said in a Feb. 8 tweet that “the Holy Spirit is active in people’s movements for social justice, civil liberation and freedom.”
The Southeast Asian nation has seen an escalation of nationwide protests following the coup.
Some priests gave three-finger salutes when protesters passed through Mandalay on Feb. 8.
“In unity … we stand with our people, we support non-violent protesters and we stand for peace,” Good Shepherd sisters wrote on their Facebook page as nuns gave three-finger salutes as protesters passed their convent in Yangon.
Buddhist monks, nurses, civil servants and teachers joined the Feb. 8 protests in Yangon and Mandalay attended by tens of thousands of people.
The demonstrations mark the biggest show of public defiance over military rule in Myanmar since the 2007 Saffron Revolution that was brutally ended by the military.