The Archbishop of Yangon launches a national prayer campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Delta strain is highly contagious,” writes the prelate. This means “More infections, more deaths, more need for oxygen.” For the cardinal, “all health workers must be enabled to reach out to the suffering people.”
Yangon (AsiaNews) – Card Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar, released a statement on Monday calling for a national prayer campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Myanmar is one of the countries most affected by the contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus. The daily count has reached almost 5,000 for a total of 311,000 cases with more than 10,300 dead. According to most experts, however, the actual number is much higher.
Six months after the military coup that overthrew the civilian government of democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the generals' crackdown against the civil disobedience movement has undermined the country’s health system.
The coup plotters are accused of using the health emergency for political purposes, going so far as stealing medical oxygen cylinders and tanks for their own interests.
Threatened by the regime, doctors, nurses and other medical staff have gone into hiding. Local and foreign media have reported that military authorities have arrested and evem killed some of them.
Cardinal Bo’s appeal follows:
People of Myanmar: Let us raise our hands and pray
Call for National Prayer Campaign as COVID threatens the world and our country
(2nd August, 2021)
My dear brothers and sisters of Myanmar.
As we sail through many challenges in our lives, experts have warned that the world, including Myanmar, need to get ready to face extraordinary challenges from the spiralling virus in the new wave. The Delta strain is highly contagious. More infections, more deaths, more need for oxygen.
These are very threatening times for the dignity and survival of our people. Once again, we plead, unity is needed. No conflict, no displacement. The only war we need to wage is against the virus. Facing this emergency let us arm ourselves only with medical kits, oxygen and other support to our dear people. Because of the shortage of human resources, all health workers must be enabled to reach out to the suffering people.
We are not politicians. We always seek the good of our people. Through this appeal, I call upon all people to enter into a campaign of prayer, raising our hands and hearts to the Almighty, for healing. Let us come together as one community, let compassion become the common religion in these dark days. Transcending our various religious and faith identities, let us come together for inter religious prayer meetings on line. Let us support one another through continuous prayer.
I urge the Catholic Church to have continuous prayers, adorations, Rosary chains in the families and communities. Let us knock at the divine doors, to melt the hearts of all people, to bring healing, peace and reconciliation.
We offer all our people to the protection of God. Our people’s destiny is more and more in the hands of God as we sail through these stormy seas of fear, despair, anxiety and pandemic. Let the divine hand reach out and bless our country and protect our people from the pandemic and all other calamities.
Jesus says: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Mt 17:20). Yes. Our problems press us like mountains. But let us use faith. Let us become prayer warriors; heal ourselves. Let God’s healing hand touch every one and bring health to all our people.
Let us that campaign of prayer starts now and go on at least for two weeks. Let every heart raise its voice to God to save us all.
+ Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, SDB
President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar