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Burma: Jail, a New Place to Preach

BurmaA Burmese monk

Luke grew up in a Buddhist family in Burma. He and his family are part of the Rakhine tribe.

Few Rakhine people know about Jesus. Only about one-tenth of 1 percent are Christians. That means if there were 1,000 Rakhine people, maybe only one would be a Christian. (There are actually more than a million Rakhine people in Burma.) Source: Operation World, 7th Edition

Many Rakhine boys spend a few months living as monks in a monastery. A monastery is a place where monks live together, separate from others and from their families. Monks spend their time studying their religion and following its rules. Some Buddhist boys decide to become monks for the rest of their lives.

(Read “Comparing Buddhism and Christianity” to find out what Buddhists believe.)

But Luke heard about Jesus and decided to give his life to him! He wanted to share his new faith with other Rakhine people, so he walked from village to village, talking to people about the good news of Jesus.

The police did not want Luke to help more Buddhists become Christians. First they burned his Bible to try to stop him from spreading Christianity. Then they put him in jail for nine months. “At first I was afraid … because I knew the people inside the jail are very cruel and they would beat me and treat me bad,” Luke said after he got out of jail.

Luke was right. The police hit him and fed him terrible food. He received only one cup of water a day to drink.

But Luke noticed that the criminals in the jail were worse off than he was, because they did not know Jesus. “When I was inside, I worried about them more than myself. I always had concern for them,” said Luke.

Luke saw his time in prison as another opportunity to tell people about God and Jesus. He led six prisoners to Christ.

Thank God for persecuted Christians who continue to share his love, even in harsh places. Pray that more Rakhine people and other Buddhists will give their lives to his Son, Jesus.

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this site and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

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