Catholic Peacebuilding Network

Enhancing the study and practice of Catholic peacebuilding


Myanmar: “Do Not Be Afraid”: Christmas 2014 Homily by Archbishop Bo
“To all of you gathered this night, I warmly greet you “a Joy filled, a grace filled Christmas”. The hope of Christmas shines on each one of us this midnight. Emmanuel, the God with us (Mt 1:23) is amidst us -brothers and sisters, with a great message “ DO NOT BE AFRAID IT IS I (Jn 6:20), I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TILL THE END OF THE WORLD (Mt 28:20)” Together as a people of God we say loudly “MARANATHA COME LORD JESUS (Rev. 20:22)” Happy Christmas! Happy Noel! Let there be showers of blessings on all of you this night. Let the Rivers of blessings and prosperity soak you – – who believe in the Living Lord Jesus! Let the triple P : Prayer, Peace and Prosperity with you and the nation. This Christmas comes at a pivotal moment in the History of Myanmar people and Our Church…. Read online or download the full text here (.doc).

Myanmar: Archbishop of Yangon Calls for Peace and Fraternity
Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon released a message for the World Day of Peace, January 1, 2014, calling for the “dawn of a new era” of peace and justice in Myanmar. Emphasizing the importance of dialogue, unity, and equality, he points to fraternity as the path to peace. “I wish all my brothers and sisters, of all religions and ethnicities throughout our nation, a truly happy and blessed New Year. Let’s join hands together to build a new rainbow nation in Myanmar. Let 2014 mark a new era not only of greater freedom, but of fraternity throughout Myanmar, and in growing in fraternity, we can secure lasting peace and prosperity.” Read the full text here (PDF).

Myanmar: Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar Urges Greater Sensitivity to Emerging Challenges
The Catholic Bishops of Myanmar, “concerned with the holistic dignity of all human beings,” issued a statement to the leaders and the people of Myanmar (full text pdf) in June 2013. While they welcome the reform measures of the government, they identify emerging national challenges to be addressed by government leaders and all citizens. Such challenges include quality education, the rights and dignity of indigenous groups, root causes of conflicts, natural resource protection, religious diversity, and refugee rights. They denounce recent violent activities and plead “with all that the hard earned space for democracy and reform need to be guarded from all fundamentalist forces that threaten to tear the fabric of this nation. Peace is possible and the only way forward for this nation is the path of peace and justice.”

Myanmar: Interfaith Leaders Call for Religious Harmony, Greater Attention to Peace and Human Development
myanmar_interfaith_leaders_2013Religious leaders from all the major religions in the country met for an Interfaith Breakfast and issued an appeal “urging all our country men and women to take a path of fellowship that will bring peace and prosperity to all.” Peace is at the center of the statement in which they commend the government for its efforts to bring greater peace and appeal to all that “peace is the only road for all of us.” The full text (Word file) is available with a photo of the group.

Burma: Will nonviolence work?
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns reports an interview of Mark Kurlansky, author of Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea. Kurlansky argues that “There’s this mistaken idea, voiced by George Orwell and others, that Gandhism and nonviolent activism is great against relatively benign opponents, but not against someone who’s ruthless and violent. But it’s the opposite of this; if you have a really ruthless opponent you have absolutely no option but nonviolence, because you’re not going to beat them at their own game….”