Gospel Initiates Freedom

Rev. Thaung Lin sharing his views during the LWF/DMD Good Governance & Sustainability Workshop from 5-7 August 2015 in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: LWF/S.Lawrence

As a Christian in Myanmar I am well aware that the Gospel compels me to respond as a faithful citizen to cast my vote on the 8th of November 2015 with the hope that there will be equality for every citizen of Myanmar without distinction of race or creed, religion or gender. For the first time after 25 years there seems to be a ray of hope that genuine democratic principles of peace, justice, equality and fraternity between and among the ethnic nationalities including religious minorities is possible. This was not the case in 1948 when Burma gained independence from British rule, the successive government did not honour the Pang Long Agreement of 1947, eventually this led to conflicts among the different ethnic groups.   


Post-Independence, hope for a modern society that ensures equality for all was still a distant dream due to the fact that a common political platform could not be established between the different ethnic groups and this led to difficulty in upholding the constitution. The historic general election on 27th May 1990 that saw a change in government was short lived when the Military junta government refused to accept the outcome of the general election and continued to rule the country with its own policy. In my opinion, this is one of the contributing factors why Myanmar became one of the poorest nation in the world within a span of 60 years. As reported by UNDP, poverty and food security is a serious challenge in Myanmar, one in four people live  below the national poverty line and two in five children below the age of five are under-nourished.   


Luke 4: 18-19 reminds me that freedom comes from and through the Gospel, that God initiates sustainable freedom through the preaching of the gospel. Christians in Myanmar, who are partakers of this freedom assured by Jesus Christ should vote with a clear conscience, that they have both a moral and spiritual obligation to make the right decision at the polls this Sunday, 8th November 2015. The choices we make will  determine the future direction of Myanmar and the well being of its people, especially that of the poor and the marginalised. I, therefore, urge all of you to pray for all Myanmarese who are going out to vote, that God will grant us discernment to choose leaders who will walk the talk.

Rev. C. Thaung Lin is the General Secretary Federation of Lutheran Churches in Myanmar. He believes that the message of the Gospel is able to initiate sustainable freedom in Myanmar.