Monday, October 15, 2007

The brave monks of Myanmar-2

We call ourselves Christians but how Christ-like are we?

September 26, 2007 was a tragic day for the people of Myanmar, a day of national tragedy and mourning. It was the day when the army opened fire on unarmed civilian protestors and Buddhist monks.

The ruling military junta did not hesitate to use force even against unarmed, peace promoting and modestly robed Buddhist monks. They were kicked and beaten as soldiers rounded them up and shoved them onto trucks. Doors of the monasteries were broken; things were ransacked and taken away.

The cowardly and brutal acts of the ruling military junta should be condemned by the whole international community. Definitely these acts of aggression against unarmed civilians and monks are inhumane and treacherous to the human race. On the other hand the actions of the brave people of Myanmar need to be praised and supported by all.

How did the world react to these atrocities being commited against innocent people? Yes, the world reacted but hesitantly and without enthusiasm as the military junta brutally and fatally crushed the peaceful unarmed pro-democracy protesters.The United Nations was divided and stood powerless to stop the massacre. It seemed to have lost it credibility. The rich and powerful nations,who often preach on human rights,appeared to have lost their moral responsibility towards the poor and oppressed in the world.Neghbors in Asia,particularly ASEAN,did not see the need to do anything other than merely offer half-hearted condemnation.

What is more distressing is that even the Christian community especially our own Church seemed to be silent on the issue. There was no strong condemnation from our top Church leaders in Malaysia and the world. Have we too lost the moral obligation to mankind like during the Holocaust?

It was dismaying that not a single word was mentioned on the plight of the Myanmars during our Sunday masses. We seem to be contended to pray and worship God in isolation, ignoring the pleas of our neighbour, the people and monks of Myanmar, as they were being brutally crushed while struggling for peace and freedom.

The least we could do was offer special prayers and empathizes with them but that too we failed. Everyday we pray for the Pope, our bishops, priests, ourselves and our families but conveniently forget the oppressed people in Myanmar who are most in need of our prayers.

We call ourselves Christians, the followers of Christ, it may be pertinent here to reflect how Christ-like are we in our daily lives?

Dr.Chris Anthony

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