Lift high the cross

By LCA Communications

In Myanmar, Christians are a small minority group in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country. So it came as a surprise to the Lutherans in Yangon when they were ordered to place a cross atop their church.

In Myanmar, Christians are a small minority group in the overwhelmingly Buddhist country. So it came as a surprise to the Lutherans in Yangon when they were ordered to place a cross atop their church.

The city council told the Myanmar Lutheran Church (an LCA partner church) that without a cross the building doesn’t look like ‘a proper church’. The church will be closed if the Lutherans do not build a tapered roof extension, with a cross atop, by the end of the year.

The instruction to prominently display a cross could be good news for the Myanmar Lutherans. But it’s not. In a community where many people struggle to feed their families, there is no capacity to fund the project, which has been estimated at USD 18,700.

Since the project must be completed by 31 December or the church will be closed, this money is needed urgently. Bishop Aaron Yap of the Lutheran Church of Malaysia (the initial supporting partner church for the fledgling Myanmar church) is calling on other partner churches to assist.

‘As a mature and well-resourced church, the Lutheran Church of Australia is able to help our sisters and brothers in the young mission field of Myanmar’, LCA Mission Director Rev Neville Otto says. ‘We are calling on our members to contribute to this urgent need, so that the Myanmar Lutherans can continue to worship in their church in Yangon.’

Taking its first tentative steps in 1998, the Lutheran Church in Myanmar now has 17 ordained pastors, 22 evangelists and over 2500 members in 14 congregations. The ministry, which initially served the Khumi ethnic group, now also reaches people from the Asho Chin, Rakhine, Hakha Chin, Burmese and Karin groups.

‘The Myanmar Lutherans are sharing the gospel faithfully, and it is taking root’, says Pastor Otto. ‘It would be a bitter blow for them to no longer be able to use their place of worship.

‘Please help our sisters and brothers to continue to be a light in their community. Please help them to turn what could be a disaster (the closure of their church) into a blessing (the cross lifted high for all to see).’

To help our Lutheran partners in Myanmar please donate here

Reprinted with permission from the website of the Lutheran Church of Australia

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