Myanmar Catholics hold nightly prayers for country, end to pandemic

People displaced by an upsurge of fighting in Myanmar's Chin State this week voiced concerns over shelter and supplies

Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Pathein in Myanmar has been holding nightly prayers for the country starting this week.

“I especially urge you to recite rosaries and say night prayers, including singing hymns in every house,” said Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of Pathein.

The prelate, who has been leading online prayers, urged the faithful to also pray a “novena” for the Feast of the Holy Spirit that will fall on May 23.

The faithful welcomed the call of the bishop, said a report from Radio Veritas Asia.

“It is good that the bishop is asking to pray for Myanmar,” said Nant Rosaline Khaing, a parishioner in Pathein.

She said the faithful “should try and observe it because it is a very important time to pray for the country,” she added.

“We need to pray for those who are protesting, the departed souls, the detainees, and the people who are persecuted,” said Nant Angela, another parishioner.

She said everyone should pray for “true federal democracy” and for the end to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Meanwhile, people displaced by an upsurge of fighting in Myanmar’s Chin State this week voiced concerns over shelter and supplies.

People flee from fighting in Myanmar’s northwestern town of Mindat in Chin State, Myanmar, on May 17, 2021. (Reuters)

The exodus also threatens to push more people over the nearby border with India, where an Indian government official said more than 15,000 had sought refuge since the February 1 coup.

“When it rains, we don’t have strong shelters,” said Mai, who fled on foot from the town of Mindat, in western Myanmar, at the weekend and is now at a village 15 kilometers away.

Those fleeing say thousands of people left Mindat after the army attacked to uproot fighters of the Chinland Defence Force, who are aligned with a National Unity Government formed by the junta’s opponents.

“There are also reports of civilians killed and injured and civilian property damaged or destroyed,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Tuesday.

“Access by humanitarian partners to the people fleeing violence or those still in their homes is challenging due to insecurity.”

Since overthrowing and detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the junta has struggled to impose its authority in the face of daily protests, paralyzing strikes and an upsurge of fighting against old and new groups of ethnic minority fighters. – with a report from Reuters

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