Karen Christians in Burma Wait for Help as They Face Persecution

by | Oct 31, 2001 | Charisma Archive

After suffering 50 years, this ethnic group is trapped today between the country’s renegade military and global heroin trade

Government soldiers in Burma had captured an ethnic Karen pastor and his wife. They held them in the middle of their village while other soldiers who had been ordered into the surrounding area returned with people who would witness what was about to happen.


As the assembled villagers looked on, the pastor and his wife were stripped, and the woman was raped by five of the soldiers. The couple were then killed.


In another village, soldiers threatened to burn a church if the pastor didn’t recant Christianity. The pastor refused and said he would rather remain with his church. The soldiers burned the structure, and the pastor was killed in the fire.


While the building burned, the soldiers gathered known Christians in the village and under the glare of gunpoint commanded them to recant their faith. They refused and also were killed.


These incidents of martyrdom are common among the 4 million Karen Christians in Burma (also known as Myanmar). The Karen, a Burmese ethnic group of 10 million people, are a target of genocide for the country’s military regime.


“This is what the Karen have been suffering for the last 50 years,” said Timothy Lacklem, founder of Asian Tribal Ministries (ATM).


Recently Lacklem and Lt. Col. Nadar Mya, a charismatic Christian who is also the son of the vice president, visited several U.S. congressmen to discuss the plight of the Karen people. Lacklem and Nadar told these officials the genocidal campaign against the Karen stemmed from the country’s heroin trade (60 percent of the world’s heroin originates in Burma), government allegiance to Buddhism and a lack of government authority for the Karen people.


The underground drug industry has created a renegade military that forces tribes to grow the poppies used to make heroin. The Karen have suffered not only because of their faith, but also because they refuse to participate in the drug trade.


Instead, Christian Karens hold on to their faith, believing for God’s intervention. Nadar experienced firsthand what he calls God’s divine intervention in a key military battle that was broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s (BBC) news network.


“We had 40 soldiers, and the enemy had 200,” Nadar said. “The enemy troops signed a covenant to fight until they were dead. I told my soldiers that I was a Christian and that I loved them and was believing for a mighty deliverance.”


Nadar called the BBC and told them about the upcoming battle because he wanted the whole world to witness God’s hand of protection.


“I prayed for my soldiers, even Buddhists,” he explained. “I expected the battle to take from 10 hours to a day.”


After the prayer, which the BBC televised, Nadar and his soldiers defeated their enemy in 15 minutes. Fleeing soldiers said they had heard a booming voice that terrified them. It was a landmark victory, and Nadar said his Buddhist soldiers converted to Christianity.


Lacklem, a Karen who grew up in the jungle, said he doesn’t want his people to get handouts, but a “hand up.”


“I teach them how to fish and farm,” he said. The second largest Thai city, Chiang Mai is Lacklem’s home while his wife Rebecca and their five children live in Australia.


“Because of death threats on my life, it was necessary for my wife and children to live in Australia,” he said. He visits his family three times a year.
–Leilani Haywood

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

WATCH: Vlad Savchuck: Life, Health and the Bible

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdzLoS3wCM During a recent visit to @HungryGeneration, Pastor Vlad Savchuk asked Bill Wiese to comment on his personal experience applying the Word of God to his own life and health. These same principals hold true for all who read and...

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Miraculous Divine Intervention Birthed by Thanksgiving and Praise

Read Time: 4 Minutes 2 Seconds When I first became a believer in 1970, my mother was one of my first “converts," giving her heart to Jesus as soon as I shared with her the beauty, the power and the opportunity of making Jesus the Lord of her life. However, my father...

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

I’m Going Defcon G on the Enemy

Read Time: 1 Minute 32 Seconds The last six years have been the best of times and the worst of times. I’ve seen more death, destruction, disease and devastation than I care to remember. I’ve also seen the hand of God move in extraordinary ways. Indeed, sometimes I...

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Prophetic Vision: ‘Now is the Time of Your Healing’

Read Time: 3 Minutes 41 Seconds I was remembering a time when my husband and I were praying over friends who had been in a situation for many years that had caused deep trauma to their souls. As we were praying for them, I became aware of an angel standing over them...

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Victimized By Gaslighting? 5 Steps to Finding Freedom

Read Time: 2 minutes 26 seconds The term "gaslighting" has gone viral across social media this year and Merriam-Webster chose it as their word-of-the-year, saying searches for the word spiked 1,740% in 2022 alone. We're breaking down what the Bible has to say about...

Learn How to Be Grateful From Those Who Have So Little

Learn How to Be Grateful From Those Who Have So Little

Read Time: 3 Minutes 18 Seconds Looking around my hometown of Los Angeles, my heart soars with gratitude. My home is safe, my bills are paid and I was fortunate to be able to serve my family an ample Thanksgiving meal. And yet, I am fully aware that hundreds of...

RECENT ARTICLES

5 Ways to Improve Your Emotional and Spiritual Health

Read Time: 4 Minutes 50 Seconds Do you believe the Lord is concerned about your emotional and spiritual health? He is. He wants you to know how to improve your emotional and spiritual health to be...
I Never Thought I’ve Have to Say This: Jesus Was Not Trans

I Never Thought I’ve Have to Say This: Jesus Was Not Trans

Read Time: 3 Minutes 27 Seconds You may have heard about the controversy that erupted in Cambridge, England, this past Sunday at Trinity College. The preacher, Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow who has a Ph.D. in theology, offered a sermon in which he suggested...

Prophetic Word: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Prophetic Word: Goodness Is Following You, Turn and See

Read Time: 4 Minutes 48 Seconds At a recent gathering where a person was struggling, I heard and declared by the Spirit of the Lord, “Goodness is following you; turn and see. Embrace His goodness in this moment and watch the shift!” There was an immediate shift and...

Why Becoming Like God Requires Special Effort

Why Becoming Like God Requires Special Effort

Read Time: 2 Minutes 7 Seconds We can walk with God and come into unity with Him by clothing ourselves in His nature. This will require that we restrict and control the desires of the flesh by putting our focus on obtaining the very substance and characteristics of...

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

3 Reasons for Hope This Advent Season

Read Time: 3 Minutes 6 Seconds I didn’t grow up celebrating Advent. When I was little, we put up a tree, got presents and had a Christmas Eve service. It seemed to me that most grown-ups were stressed over Christmas and thankful when it was all over. It wasn’t until...

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

How To Be Hilariously Happy in Your Giving

Read Time: 4 Minutes 17 Seconds The day after Thanksgiving is culturally called Black Friday, in the U.S. It marks the beginning of retail sales that could ensure a successful and profitable Christmas-gift-buying season. Black Friday In decades past, book-keepers...

Pin It on Pinterest