The 'outward moving Church' in Pathein and Yangon to defend democracy (PHOTO)
by Francis Khoo Thwe

​For priests, seminarians and nuns, the pahrase often used by Pope Francis is the reason for their public demonstrations. Tens of thousands of people in Pathein are calling for an end to the dictatorship and the release of "our leaders". The Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition demonstrating in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon.

Yangon (AsiaNews) - "I prefer a Church that is dented, wounded and dirty for having gone out on the streets, rather than a Church ill with closure and the convenience of clinging to its own certainties": this phrase of Pope Francis, taken from Evangelii Gaudium ( n.49) is the motivation that pushes many Catholics, priests, priests and even bishops to demonstrate on the streets of Myanmar against the military coup and demand the release of political prisoners, in particular the leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the president Win Myint. 

Immediately after taking power, the military junta banned any gathering of more than five people. But there are violations of the ban everywhere in Myanmar.

Today, tens of thousands of people and among them many priests, seminarians and nuns marched through the streets of Pathein (in the Irrawaddy district) with signs calling for the end of the military dictatorship, the salvation of Myanmar, the liberation "of our leaders ". In the long procession through the city center, participants hoisted large photos of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest. Everyone greeted the wings of crowds on the sides of the streets with the symbol of the three raised fingers.

Last night, a prayer meeting was held in the courtyard of St. Peter's Cathedral. It was attended by priests, nuns and young university students. After the prayer in front of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, which was celebrated yesterday, the faithful made a long procession with candles, as a sign of the light that must illuminate the darkness in which the country has slipped.

Yesterday, a group of Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition demonstrated in the streets of Yangon. Eventually they held a sit-in in front of the Chinese embassy in Myanmar. According to many Burmese, China is importing weapons for the junta army. Beijing has denied these rumors. Traditionally, China has always defended and traded with the military junta. At the UN Security Council, on February 2, the Beijing representative vetoed a motion condemning the junta.