Cardinal Charles Bo says wars have not solved any problem in Myanmar for seven decades. (Photo: AFP)
Cardinal Charles Bo, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, has called on Christian churches to be the prophets of peace in conflict-torn Myanmar.
“We urgently need the vaccine of peace. All Christians need to join together and hear the words of our Lord, ‘peace I leave you; peace I give you’,” he said in a message on Christian Unity Octave on Jan. 18.
He said the pandemic is an agonizing reminder that only by uniting can we overcome the challenges.
“I commend the generous support rendered to the poor during these days,” said Cardinal Bo, adding that “unity is our strength and calling.”
He lamented the people have faced other types of unarticulated pandemics in his land.
“A seven-decade war is a pandemic. Thousands living in miserable IDP camps is a pandemic. Drug and looting of our resources is a pandemic. Generations lived through the unending wars,” said Cardinal Bo, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar (CBCM).
The Southeast Asian nation has been bedeviled with decades-long civil wars and peace remains elusive as sporadic fighting is raging in ethnic areas such as Karen, Shan and Rakhine states.
The 73-year-old cardinal said wars have not solved any problem for seven decades.
“Peace is possible; peace is the only way. As Christians let us struggle towards peace based on justice,” he stressed.
“Let us come together around the altar of our sacred land and break the bread of peace. United God will give us the wisdom to transcend our differences and bless us with an unyielding quest for peace.”
Cardinal Bo’s appeal for unity and peace came as Christian churches all over the world traditionally observe the week of prayers for Christian unity from Jan. 18-25.
The CBCM and Myanmar Council of Churches have been conducting the prayer week annually but Christians are urged to pray at home as the event cannot be held this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.