​Myanmar’s Cardinal Bo reiterates call for end to violence as thousands flee homes

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Catholic News Agency


Myanmar’s Cardinal Bo reiterates call for end to violence as thousands flee homes

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon in Myanmar appealed for an end to violence on Sunday as thousands of civilians continue to flee their homes in the conflict-ridden Southeast Asian country.

“Nobody deserves violence, the torture, incarceration, and death that we witness in our country for the last four months,” said the prelate in a message during Mass on Sunday.

The United Nations estimated that up to 230,000 people have already been displaced by fighting in several parts of the country, as armed ethnic groups wage war against state forces.

The activist group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners reported that about 5,200 people have been detained and at least 881 people have already been killed since February, when the military seized power in a coup.

“History books are soaked in human blood, not written in ink but in the blood of the innocents,” he said.

“Countries under violence become a valley of death and bones. Agents of the devil are active,” said the prelate.

He reminded the faithful of the example of Jesus in the Gospel who “preached against violence.”

“Jesus refused to inflict violence. He did not make others scapegoats and sacrificed them,” he said.

“Instead he made himself the lamb of God and fell victim to violence in a great act of redemptive suffering,” added Cardinal Bo.

“What violence we have witnessed in the last four months! Sheer horror,” he said.

“Jesus was crucified in our streets and villages. Those in power believe only in the violent option, provoking others to fall into the violence trap,” he added.

Cardinal Bo said peace “is the prayer in the lips of every citizen in this country.”

“Let there be no more death, no more mourning, no more crying or pain. Enough of violence, enough of hatred,” said the leader of the Catholic Church in Myanmar.

“Let not our streets be filled with the blood and hemorrhage of hatred, let us all: the army, the civilian government, the people, rise up from the culture of death and dance with joy of freedom, hope, peace and prosperity,” he said.

Pope Francis last week appealed for help for the people of Myanmar.

“I join my voice to that of the bishops of Myanmar, who last week launched an appeal calling to the attention of the whole world the harrowing experience of thousands of people in that country who are displaced and are dying of hunger,” said the pope after the Sunday Angelus on June 20.

On June 11, Myanmar’s Catholic bishops issued a statement appealing for peace, a humanitarian corridor in the conflict zones, and respect for the sanctity of places of worship.

The bishops urged the faithful in Myanmar “to launch into a period of intense prayer, seeking compassion in the hearts of all and peace to this nation,” with daily Mass, adoration and the rosary.

“May the Heart of Christ touch the hearts of all bringing peace to Myanmar,” Pope Francis said, according to a Catholic News Agency report.

Protests have been held almost daily in Myanmar since the coup that cut short a decade of democratic reforms, and which also sparked paralyzing strikes in the country.