In Burma – where Christians have suffered for decades – a violent coup raises a burning question: How can we help the persecuted . . . not only in crises but for the long-term?
On February 1, military leaders in Burma (or Myanmar) seized power. This sparked months-long, massive uprisings nationwide. Shockingly, the military’s response is to shoot, abduct, torture, and imprison thousands. Nearly 800 people have been killed.
The coup inflamed the violent campaign the military junta has waged for years against the Christian Karen and other ethnic minorities.
Snipers and air strikes target Karen and other villages, injuring and killing men, women, and children. Roads are blocked to ban supplies. Internet access is shut down or restricted. (Will you pray for peace?)
Thanks to your support, we are getting critical aid to persecuted Christians – and we are equipping them to rise above persecution – before, during, and after this crisis!
Christian Freedom International is strategically placed on the Thai/Burma border . . . reaching persecuted Christians with a long-term plan – even before the coup.
Our school – Victory Bible Academy – is ground-zero for training Christian refugees and for organizing emergency aid during crises and disasters. Our staff knows the unique needs of persecuted Christians in Burma – because most of them lived it.
Here is what one person at Victory experienced:
“The reason that we came to Thailand is because Burmese soldiers came to my village, burned all the houses and killed the villagers, so in those nights we had to flee in the midnight and cross to Thailand for our safety. . .
After that we can’t go back to our village because the Burmese soldiers leave the landmines in our village, so very dangerous for us. When we flee from our village, I was terrified. We ran into the jungle, stayed two months in the jungle with no food and in the rain. . .
As a child, I prayed as I know God can help me. By the grace of God, after two months in the forest we found a refugee camp so we went to live in refugee camp. . .
My purpose and my aim is to be a missionary, evangelism and to take care of poor kids who need help and old people.”
(Anonymous to protect their identity when in Burma)
Many of Victory’s students and staff lost family members – even seeing their mothers, fathers, or siblings killed. Human trafficking, alcohol abuse, and extreme poverty is a way of life. They need help to escape the traps of despair.
. . . Please pray – especially for the children.
To become pastors, missionaries, teachers, and leaders in this conflict-ridden region, Victory’s students need solid Biblical discipleship.
And – here is an extra challenge: They need nitty-gritty life-skills to survive in a jungle and job-skills for a modern world.
Students at Victory learn Bible, English, teaching, farming, public speaking, computers, how to build huts and bridges, culinary arts, animal husbandry, traditional weaving and modern silk-screening, business skills, Karen history, bicycle repair, and much more.
CFI’s Victory Bible Academy is tailored to the unique needs of persecuted Christians.
It is whole-life, immersion training. Students live at Victory with staff – which has an added bonus. Our staff’s families provide role models for healthy marriages and parenting.
As you can imagine, these persecuted Christians, as impoverished refugees, cannot afford such things as schooling, or healthy food, or dorm rooms, or materials and tools for the hands-on learning that we provide at Victory.
Yet all of this – for each student – only costs about $219 a month at Victory.
God’s grace and your support makes this possible for them!
Our students have seen God work in their lives – and answer prayers. And they thank God for you and supporters of Christian Freedom International for giving them an opportunity for a better life – and the skills to serve others.
This is a critical time for Christians in Burma. After years of oppression, the chains of military rule may be broken. (Please, God, may it be so!)
But if not, no matter how this current conflict turns out, and the deeply in-grained prejudices continue . . . persecuted Christians will still need Bible knowledge, discipleship, and skills to overcome obstacles – and to reach others with powerful testimonies of God’s grace.
Will you help them?
For His kingdom,
P.S. Even while Burma is in crisis, we are actively equipping persecuted Christians with skills, talents – and faith – to soar above their scarred past to a brighter future!
New students will arrive at Victory Bible Academy this summer. Will you give – and invest in them?
Background on Burma (Myanmar)
American missionary Adoniram Judson’s work in the 1800s is instrumental in the Karen people coming to Christ. Within the first 25 years, 11,878 Karen are baptized believers.
Burma gains independence from Britain in 1948. Karen and other ethnic minorities are denied independence and discriminated against by the majority Buddhist Burmans.
Military generals rule Burma since 1962, violently crushing peaceful protests and attacking Karen and ethnic minorities.
In 2004, Christian Freedom International builds a boarding school for Karen Christian refugees on the Thai/Burma border.
In 2011, Burma takes steps toward democracy. Violence reduces but attacks continue.
In 2021, Burma’s military ousts the democratically elected government, and kills, abducts, tortures, and imprisons protesters. During the last 70 years, Burma’s military attacks Karen, Kachin and other ethnic people, shooting civilians and destroying churches. Hundreds of thousands flee into jungles and refugee camps.
Christian Freedom International’s Victory Bible Academy is strategically located to train persecuted Karen and other Christians for such a time as this.
At Victory, Cinderella practiced teaching and learned business well enough to later support herself with a small chicken farm. She graduated as Valedictorian in 2020.
She returned to Burma where she is now a full-time teacher.
Please enjoy more images from this past school year at Victory!