Peace & Justice Blog

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Seeing the Divine Within the Diversity

Blog by Candidate Terri Schell

I fell in love with a wetland last summer.

I had a hankering to explore, so I strapped on my TEVA sandals, grabbed my journal and watercolor set, and headed down the road to catch the morning sun at the nearby wetland. The midsummer heat was already rising as I walked through the tall grasses to stumble upon the edge of an ephemeral pond still wet with the morning dew and bursting with life and activity. Birds of all shapes and sounds were calling, feeding, flying. Insects were zipping about and frogs, startled by my presence, yelped, and leapt underwater. I was drunk with the vibrancy and beauty of this place and taken with knowledge that God’s presence was glimmering all around me. I guess more accurately, I did not fall in love with the wetland, but deeper in love with God, who just can’t help but to brim and spill over with creative life.

Through moments like this I have come to understand more clearly the relationship we are invited into with God and the earth, not just as a steward (as if God was absent) but as a responsible part of Earth community. I’ve heard the role likened to a custodian who works with God and our animate and inanimate neighbors to collaborate and sustain diversity and balance. We are to embody this peaceful, non-violent, regenerative, existence in every aspect of our lives, in an integral way, like Pope Francis encourages us to do in Laudato Si’.

As a candidate, I get to see with new eyes the Dominican Sisters of Peace’s commitment to integral ecology lived out concretely. One way is through our current wetland construction project at Shepherd’s Corner Ecology Center here in Blacklick, Ohio.

I was surprised to learn that prior to the 1800s, over half of the lands that make up the state of Ohio were wetlands. White colonial settlers perpetuated a disordered understanding of our relationship to the creator and the created, and thus these wetlands were considered unproductive, smelly, unnavigable, and useful only when eliminated. Today, over 90 percent of all of Ohio’s wetlands have been drained and developed. This makes me wonder, where else in our society do we adopt the “throwaway culture,” Pope Francis alludes to, failing to see the beauty in diversity, in the things that take a bit more work to love?

Since the 1980s we are slowly realizing what amazing and critical ecosystems wetlands are. Wetlands help us correct our mistakes: they naturally filter water, sequester carbon, refill groundwater stores, and create buffers for flooding events that are becoming more frequent. They also allow us to be good neighbors: wetlands are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet, creating a home for flora and fauna throughout all stages of life.  And ironically, they have the highest productivity, turning sunlight into living matter faster and more efficiently, than any other ecosystem on Earth. The wetland at Shepherd’s Corner will also be space for education and contemplation, inviting others to see the divine within the diversity.

I’m proud of the congregation’s long history and invigorated commitment to listening to the voice of the voiceless and honoring the land’s inherent value, not for the usefulness of her ability to provide for humans, but for all of earth community. May we continue on this journey towards integral ecology which, according to Pope Francis, includes: “taking time to recover a serene harmony with creation, reflecting on our lifestyle and our ideals, and contemplating the Creator who lives among us and surrounds us, whose presence ‘must not be contrived but found, uncovered’.”


Pope Francis. 2015. Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home [Encyclical].

About Us. Ohio Wetlands Association. 2022.

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

The Dominican Order in Myanmar

Myanmar is a country located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia, with a population of 53 million persons. It was formerly called Burma, has an ancient Buddhist tradition and contains many small ethnics groups. The Catholic population is less than 4%, or around 2 million persons.

The presence of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary in Myanmar began on November 12, 2010. We currently have three houses: One in Yangon, which is a house of formation for our aspirants, and (during this year at least) it is our novitiate for the country. Fathers of this house also serve in a parish of a district on the outskirts of the capital Yangon which ministers to displaced people from other regions, most of them belonging to the minority ethnic groups. In addition, the brothers assist several communities of religious in their houses of formation.

We have another house in Loikaw, where we serve a parish that includes in its territory several villages. We have a ‘Learning Center’, with English classes, as well as computer skills classes and teacher training. Every year, around 100 young people take these courses, receiving an opportunity to serve their country and have a better future.

Four hours from the capital city is the second largest city of Myanmar, Mandalay. We have a ‘Social Training Centre’ in a remote village, Zawgyi, where we help to prepare students from less-privileged families for the university entrance exams. Each year, around 50 new students graduate, and 50 new students start their training.

Our presence in Myanmar aims to assist the local church in the Christian formation of the laity and in the teaching of theology in seminaries or other religious centers.  We already have 18 Dominican priests from Myanmar, 4 deacons and 15 students of philosophy and theology in Macau. Some of these priests are missionaries in another countries, such as in Macau, Japan, Spain or Philippines.

Currently 9 brothers work in this mission; 6 young people are doing their novitiate there and 15 young people are aspirants. Another 10 brothers from Myanmar are in other missions of the Province and 17 student brothers in the provincial ‘house of studies’ or studentate (our seminary) in Macau.

St. Dominic’s House in Yangon was officially opened on the feast day of St. Dominic, August 8, 2011.  His Excellency Charles Bo, SDB (now Cardinal) personally came to inaugurate the house and announced the presence of the Order in the golden land of Myanmar. The house, however, was bought in 2010 and on the 7th of October of that same year the first community of friars was established there with Fr Fernando Muñoz, O.P. being its first superior. From 2011 onwards, the house becomes the center for the aspirants who want to join the Order.

At the present, the main ministry of the community is pastoral work and formation. The brothers work in the parish of St. Gemma Galgani, Shwepyithar, which is entrusted to the Dominicans by the Archdiocese of Yangon. Since this house is also the house of formation of aspirants, the brothers dedicate their time to the future candidates for the Order. Aside from these, conducting retreats to different religious and diocesan communities is also an important part of our ministry and service to the local Church.

The land on which St. Thomas Aquinas’ House stands was bought in 2008. The foundation of the House was laid in 2009 and the house was completed in 2012. On 23 November 2013, the house was inaugurated with the approval and authorization of the Master of Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore O.P.

Fr. Javier Gonzalez, O.P. Prior Provincial and some other Dominican brothers from our houses in Rome, Philippines and Hong Kong were present at the inauguration of the house. The Local Ordinary, Msgr. Sotero Phamo, Bishop of Loikaw Diocese, and his auxiliary, Bishop Stephen Thjephe blessed the house and welcomed the presence of Dominicans in the diocese. Besides the Dominican brothers and sisters both local and from abroad, many diocesan priests and religious Sisters attended the joyful celebration.

On December 01, 2013, Msgr. Sotero Phamo, Bishop of Loikaw, erected a new parish, the Parish of Nwalawo, and handed it over to the Dominicans in Loikaw. This parish composes six villages with approximately 2000 Catholics. The six villages are relatively close from each other. Eighty five percent of the parishioners are farmers.

Besides taking care of the spiritual and social welfare of the parishioners, the brothers in Loikaw conduct retreats to religious sisters and pious Lay Associations outside their parish. To the parishioners, we administer the Sacraments; give retreats and recollections to various Lay Pious Associations regularly. We also organize classes of catechism for the children and summer seminars for the youth.

MARTIN DE PORRES’ HOUSE St. Martin de Porres’ Social Center, Zawgyi, Mandalay
The House of St. Martin De Porres in ZawGyi was established in June 2014 by the Master of the Order, Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., with the permission of the Archbishop of Mandalay, Msgr. Paul Zinghtung Granwg. It is near to the City of Mandalay, within the region of Mandalay Division, the central area of Myanmar. Fr. John Bosco Lo Lo, O.P., has been appointed the first superior of the house and the vicar of the Provincial in Mandalay region. Bro. Mariano Kai, O.P., was recently assigned to the house as he is preparing for his ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood.

Considering the urgent need for educational support in the area, the Province decided to offer supplementary courses and evening classes to the students of Grade V to Grade XI. Many of them are Buddhist students in the neighborhood. At this moment (2015), there are 113 students coming for classes and study. Many teachers are hired to help the brothers. In addition to this, the community also offers English Courses and hosts retreats in the Social Center of St. Martin de Porres for the faithful and seminarians.

The situation in Myanmar seems to grow worse each day. People’s rights are being violated, and violence is escalating at an alarming rate. Our Dominican Family in Myanmar shares this painful situation with their people. Along with the Friars and the Nuns, there are two communities of Dominican Sisters there, one of which is in Yangon, where so much violence has occurred. These Sisters belong to the Congregation “Religiosas Misioneras de Santo Domingo”, whose Motherhouse is in Italy. We join in solidarity with our Sisters and all of the people in Myanmar, that there will be an end to the violence and oppression and a renewed respect for the dignity and the rights of the people.

Religious Missionary Sisters of St. Dominic

Dominican Sisters of Blessed Imelda

ဒိုမိနီကန် အီမဲလ်ဒါ သီလရှင်များ အသင်းဂိုဏ်း



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The Dominican Humanitarian Response to the Myanmar Coup


Like the rest of the world’s population, the people of Myanmar had to weather the viruses of Covid 19. As medical staff walked out of their jobs after the military seized power on February 1, 2021, the Myanmar healthcare system shattered. As COVID-19 infections peaked, hospitals could not accommodate the patients, and as a result, countless individuals died in their homes.

In those difficult times, Fr. Paul, OP, personally went to give medicines and food to the families who contracted the virus and were bedridden in their homes. In Loikaw, with the help of a retired nurse, Fr. Moses, OP set up a small clinic for the displaced people in the convent. He also bought medicines and delivered them to various displaced camps in the state.

In order to respond to the healthcare needs of our neighbors in Myanmar, the Dominican Friars and Sisters have formed a Medical Team which consists of Fr. Mariano Kai, OP, Sr. Benedetta, OP, Sr. Elizabeth Byama, OP, a doctor, and other volunteers. This team is in charge of buying medical supplies and delivering them to places in need. This medical team also provides medical supplies for students studying in community-based schools in various displaced camps.

With the help of a volunteer doctor, the members of this team are also touring the camps and tents of displaced people in the forest regularly to check the physical conditions of the people and give necessary medical assistance. The medical team is working to raise funds to set up a mini-clinic for the displaced people in the forest and provide health care for the people there.


Schools were closed in 2020 due to the wide spread of Covid 19. After seizing the power, the military junta tried to open schools in 2021. This effort was not successful because most of the teachers refused to collaborate with the military, and students refused to enroll for classes.

This year too, though the military government opened the schools, many students refuse to attend and teachers refuse to collaborate. At this moment, homeschooling and online classes are available for those who can afford materials and internet service, and for those who are living in safe zones. However, for those who have been displaced, opportunities for education are limited. In most camps, the people set up self-supporting schools for the children with the help of volunteer teachers. However, the Dominican parishes do not have the resources to set up schools as well.

With the limited funds received from our Province and from the donors of the congregation of Religious Missionaries of St. Dominic, the Dominican organizations have collaborated to form an Educational Support Team. Fr. Marko Thoe Reh, OP, Sr. Francesca Polo, OP, and Bro. Simon Htoo, OP, are serving in the educational sector. They set up a temporary high school called St. Catherine of Siena’s School, in the forest for displaced students who are sheltering there.  Seventeen teachers have stepped up to help the Dominicans run this school.

The friars and sisters are not only supervising the school – they are also teaching some subjects to the 187 students who attend there.  Fifty of these young people attending the school are boarding in the tents set up near the school. Thanks to generous donations, the Dominicans are able to pay the teachers and two workers who serve at the school.

The Educational Support Team is also offering some assistance to 293 elementary and primary students studying in their parents’ self-supporting primary and elementary schools in the forest, and supporting their teachers.


As most of the displaced people are Catholics, pastoral care is urgently needed. The 2000 Catholics directly under Dominican care have also been displaced. In the past year, Fr. Moses Dereh, OP, Fr. John Sui, OP, and Fr. Philip Soreh, OP, offered pastoral care visiting camps, hearing confessions, and regularly celebrating Eucharistic mass.

The team members also strive to create moments of “escape” for the students and children in the camps, hoping to reduce their stress and prevent future mental and emotional issues resulting from this trauma.

To respond to the spiritual and psychological needs of the Catholics who have been displaced, a Psycho-spiritual Assistance Team has been formed. This team is composed of Fr. John Maung Sui, OP, Sr. Judith Mujar, OP, and Sr. Lucia Baw Myar, OP, assisted by catechists and other volunteers. Months ago, the members of this team were trained to offer Psychological First Aid by staff from the United Nations.

This team is responsible for providing for the spiritual needs of the people who are taking shelter in the forest. The team tours the camps, and celebrates the Eucharistic mass for them, accompanies them in their struggles, listens to their stories, and offers them words of encouragement. The team also organizes catechism classes for the children to help them grow their faith.

This team is also offering a kind of psychotherapy to those who have suffered trauma due to the war, loss of their homes or loved ones,  and other crises. These people are assigned to groups where they can share their stories and worries with others who are suffering the same trauma. Our hope is that offering this Psychological First Aid will help to prevent future traumatic disorders.


(The New York Times)

According to Data for Myanmar, the military and its affiliated groups have burned down over 30,000 civilian houses, and many others have been damaged by shelling. As of September 20, 2022, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), also known as AAPP, confirmed that 2,299 civilians have been killed by military forces and a total of 15,580 people have been arrested; 12,435 are still under detention. Countless others have simply “gone missing.”

To assist the people who need financial help in rebuilding their lives, the Dominican’s “Rebuilding Team,” composed of Fr. Paul Aung Myint Win, OP, Fr. Moses Dereh, OP, and Sr. Rosa Mu Mu Lin, OP”

  1. Offer financial assistance to families who lost their homes, and incomes
  2. Giving assistance to those who have lost their limbs to landmines
  3. Granting scholarships to high school graduates seeking vocational training.


How Can You Help?

The Dominican Family in Myanmar is doing its best in providing humanitarian assistance to the neediest people with the limited funds received. Therefore, in order to be able to continue providing assistance in the name of the Order, Myanmar Dominicans urgently need the support of the International Dominican Family.

Click here to give to the Relief Effort in Myanmar

Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

Myanmar Coup d’etat and the Church

By Robin Gomes  (June 2021)

The Catholic Bishops of Myanmar have appealed for a “humanitarian corridor” for thousands of displaced people trapped and starving in conflict zones. They have also appealed for respect for places of worship and other neutral sites where many innocent civilians have sought shelter.   “As our country goes through her challenging times, this appeal is made on humanitarian grounds,” said a message by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar (CBCM). “We are not politicians, we are faith leaders, accompanying our people in their journey towards human dignity,” the CBCM said in the message released at the end of its plenary assembly in Yangon, June 8-11.

Coup protests and ethnic conflicts
The impoverished south-east Asian nation has been plunged into chaos since the Feb. 1 military coup that ousted the elected government and detained its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.  Protests and strikes against the coup have paralyzed parts of the economy.

The crisis has also re-ignited Myanmar’s old conflicts between the military and some of the armed ethnic organizations.  Areas occupied by the Kachin, Chin, Karen and Kayah ethnic groups, who have been facing oppression and persecution at the hands of the military for decades, are largely Christian.  An estimated one-third of Myanmar’s territory – mostly the border regions – is currently controlled by 20-odd armed rebel outfits. The military has stepped up its offensive against ethnic guerrillas and anti-coup resistance groups by deploying fighter jets and heavy artillery.

Christians are a minority in the predominantly Buddhist country, accounting for 6.2 percent of its 54 million population. Myanmar Catholics represent about 1.5 percent of the population.

Threat of starvation
The message signed by the 13 CBCM members has four appeals.

Firstly, they noted, “Thousands of our people, especially the old and the children are starving in the jungles.” “Starvation of innocent people is the most heart-wrenching experience. These are our citizens and they have basic right to food and safety.”  Hence, “We plead with all to kindly allow the humanitarian corridor to reach out to the starving masses wherever they are.”

Places of worship under attack
Secondly, the bishops noted that in the recent conflict, thousands have sought safety in the churches. Four churches in Loikaw Diocese in Kayah state have come under military artillery fire and thousands sheltering there fled elsewhere or into the jungle. The bishops called for observing international norms in times of war regarding sanctuaries. Churches, pagodas, monasteries, mosques and temples, including schools and hospitals, are recognized as neutral places of refuge during conflicts and should not be targeted. “We appeal that these places are not to be attacked and the people who seek refuge should be protected,” the bishops said.

Spiritual campaign
The bishops also made an appeal to all the dioceses of the country to intensify their spiritual campaign. “Our destiny is in God’s hands, who must change the hearts of all, bringing peace to this nation. As a nation we have suffered a lot and this should end,” they said, inviting each diocese to a period of “intense prayer, seeking compassion in the hearts of all and peace to this nation”.

Striving for lasting peace
Lastly, the bishops of Myanmar urged all parties to work for lasting peace. They noted that the last 7 decades that their country has been in conflict, have caused only tears and crushed innocent people.  However, the nation needs to “invest in peace because nobody has won a war in this country” the bishops wrote, “it is our duty to work towards peace. This country deserves to join the community of nations, putting its past to history and investing in peace. Human dignity is given by God and no amount of violence can negate people’s aspiration for human dignity,” the bishops stressed, adding history has proved that this can be achieved by peaceful means.  “Peace is still possible. Peace is the way” they added.

Loikaw Diocese
Father Celso Ba Shwe, the apostolic administrator of Loikaw Diocese, said that as fighting escalates in Kayah and in the neighboring state of Shan, churches, convents and monasteries have opened their doors to fleeing civilians, regardless of religion and ethnicity, especially the elderly, children, women, the sick and the disabled. As of June 7, he said, 23 camps for internally displaced persons have been set up and about 45,000 displaced persons are under the care of the Catholic Church of Loikaw. But after the attacks on churches, they are scattered again.  He appealed to both sides of the conflict in Kayah to refrain from targeting places of worship.  With food, goods and gasoline prevented from reaching Kayah, Father Shwe warned of an “imminent famine”.

Pekhon Diocese
A source in Pekhon Diocese, in neighboring Shan state, told the Vatican’s Fides news agency that the military has destroyed tons of rice stored to feed the internally displaced people in the village of Loi Ying Taungche, near the city of Moebye. The source noted that army is following the “policy of the four cuts”: cutting off all access to food, communications, transport and finances, to squash every resistance and protest.

According to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 175.000 people have been displaced in Kachin, Karen, Chin, Kayah and Shan states since the Feb. 1 coup.

Mandalay, Burma, Apr 8, 2022
Approximately 40 Burmese soldiers forcibly took control of a Catholic cathedral in Mandalay prior to a Lenten prayer service and detained an archbishop and dozens of other worshippers.  The soldiers entered Sacred Heart Cathedral and refused to allow worshipers to leave. Soldiers also occupied other buildings on the compound.  Archbishop Marco Tin Win and employees of the Archdiocese of Mandalay were similarly herded into the building and forced to sit in the pews along with the worshipers.

“I was so afraid,” one elderly Sacred Heart Cathedral parishioner, who did not give her name for safety reasons, told CNA. “The military was always crazy but they never acted like this before. We ran home as soon as we were allowed out of the church.”  “The soldiers kept demanding to know where the gold and money and weapons were hidden,” explained her nephew, who also asked for anonymity. “I told them there was none. Any money collected is for the relief of poor families.”

Upon hearing of the intrusion, Monsignor Dominic Jyo Du, vicar general of the archdiocese, confronted the soldiers and their officers inquiring as to their presence. The soldiers rushed him into the cathedral along with the archbishop.

Renewed persecution
Sacred Heart Cathedral is located in a working-class, largely Tamil Indian neighborhood that has not seen significant open resistance to the military coup that took power on Feb. 1, 2021, dissolving the Parliament and arresting those connected to the legitimate government.  The neighborhood’s populace prefers instead to plan their demonstrations and attacks far from their homes. This has not stopped the military from routinely invading suspected leaders’ homes and harassing ethnic non-Burmans.

Tamils are either Catholics or Muslim and are held in suspicion by the military and militant Buddhists, including several high profile radical monks such as Ashin Wirathu, whose fiery sermons concentrate on racist diatribes against Muslims and Christians. On multiple occasions Wirathu openly has called for the extermination of the Muslim minority, known as the Rohingya. The latter, who have had to across the border to Bangladesh, have had open conflict with the central government for at least 10 years.

Since the coup, more than 12,000 people have been arrested and an estimated 1,600 killed in the conflict, including 50 children. According to media reports, the military junta has deliberately targeted churches, other institutions, and civilians. In March, military aircraft attacked a town in the east of the country, causing severe damage to a Catholic convent’s roof, ceiling, and windows.

The junta’s crackdown follows a pattern of more than a century of the military attacking Catholics and other religious and ethnic minorities throughout Burma, burning down churches, imprisoning those who are labeled as dissenters, and restricting the movements and activities of Catholics throughout the country in general.


Vatican News June 2021
Catholic News Agency  Sept 2020
Vatican News June 2021x


Posted in News, Peace & Justice Blog

The Church in Myanmar

The Catholic Church in Myanmar (also known as Burma) is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome. There are around 750,000 Catholics in Burma – approximately 1% of the total population. The country is divided into sixteen dioceses including three archdioceses.

Catholicism has never been easy in Myanmar. The Church first arrived in 1514, but failed to find enduring success.  When Portuguese mercenaries settled in the Kingdoms of Ava and Pegu, they protected the fledging missions.  However, they destroyed sacred Buddhist temples and artifacts angering the people of the kingdoms.  Thus, their power lasted only a couple of decades. The Portuguese-Burmese community had grown to between 4,000 and 5,000 people. With the expulsion of the mercenaries, these people were taken prisoner, exiled and massacred.  Under a new King, they were allowed to integrate, and were given land to live.

The actual work of evangelizing Ava and Pegu began under the pontificate of Innocent XIII who, in 1722, sent Father Sigismond de Calchi, a Barnabite, and Father Vittoni, of the same order, to Burma. In 1741, Benedict XIV definitely established the mission, appointing Father Galizia as the Vicar Apostolic, and placing the Barnabites in charge of the work.  The Vicar Apostolic, Monsignor Giovanni Ceretti, was appointed in 1845.  About this time, (the year 1845) Catholics of the two kingdoms numbered 2500. Monsignor Giovanni Balma (+ April 5, 1881) succeeded as Vicar Apostolic in 1848, but the war with the British rendered his labours ineffectual, and the mission was abandoned around 1852.

The British had begun to assume control of Burma in 1824. After 60 years of war and struggle they succeeded in establishing it as a British Empire possession.  The Congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary having withdrawn from the mission, the vicariate was placed under the control of the Vicar Apostolic of Siam in 1855. At this date the kingdoms of Ava and Pegu contained 11 priests and 5320 Catholics.

Myanmar officially received independence in 1948. Ever since, internecine warfare between the ruling government and ethnic minorities (who often consist of Christians) has plagued the country.  Catholicism is rare among the majority of Burmese ethnic group. Conversion from Buddhism to Catholicism is very difficult in Myanmar, where the Buddhist faith is heavily integrated into Burmese nationalism. Basically, if you convert then “you betray your nationality.”   Of Myanmar’s overall population, slightly more than 1 percent are Catholic, and most of them belong to marginalized ethnic minorities. Economically disadvantaged even by Burmese standards, their faith further estranges them from mainstream society. And yet this faith has endured through hunger, hardship, and a succession of largely-repressive governments.  Not until 2017 did the Vatican finally manage to establish formal diplomatic relations with Myanmar.  In November of that year, Pope Francis made a pilgrimage to the country.

“The future of Myanmar must be peace, a peace based on respect for the dignity and rights of each member of society, respect for each ethnic group and its identity,” the pope said as he stood next to Myanmar’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose own reputation has suffered for failing to speak out against the killings. Francis said that respect for rule of law and the democratic order “enables each individual and every group — none excluded — to offer its legitimate contribution to the common good.”

On Feb. 1, 2021, the Burmese military (also known as the Tatmadaw) seized power in a coup d’état, arresting both state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and president Win Myint.  Catholics who demonstrated against the coup have been closely watched by the military. Additionally, Catholics inhabiting regions with a history of armed resistance now find themselves in a “seriously life-threatening” predicament. Recent months have seen the military attack both Catholic and Protestant churches with lethal force.

The Catholic Bishops of Myanmar have been pleading for a “humanitarian corridor,” so that many thousands of displaced persons can receive shelter and food. Officials from the United Nations have said that mass death from starvation is a potential outcome.

In more stable times, the foremost service the Church in Myanmar provides is education, including the education of disabled children. Among additional services, the Church also looks after many disabled adults, particularly those who were maimed by landmines during the nation’s protracted conflict which some have called the “world’s longest-running civil war.”

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