Introduction / History The Burmese originated in the hills of Tibet, and they speak a language called Bama (Burmese). Today, they are the political, economic and religious leaders of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
Myanmar has had a long history of coups, wars, and rebellions. Ethnic divisions and political unrest have been common since the first Burman kingdom in the 11th century. Today, the Burmese military maintains forcible control over the ethnic groups who want equal importance in the government and in commerce. The military promises cease-fires; but at the slightest hint of rebellion, they attack. Consequently, the Burmese have lived in a constant state of instability, defense, bitterness, and fear. Those who can flee to safer lands.
Where are they located? The vast majority of the Burmese live in Myanmar. Those who flee usually go to nearby Thailand. A smaller number wind up in Western nations like Finland where they can begin new lives without the threat of an evil government.
What are their lives like? Unless these Burmese learn fluent Finnish, they are most likely going to have to depend on low-paying jobs in Finland. There are so few of them in Finland, that there is very little information about them.
What are their beliefs? The Burmese are predominantly Buddhists. The traditional goal in Buddhism is to seek the middle path to nirvana, or ultimate peace. The Burmese have mixed these Buddhist beliefs with their own animistic beliefs (belief that non-living objects have spirits).
The Burmese, like other Buddhists, believe that death is not a threat to one who has done good deeds. Instead, death is simply a "passing" from one life to another. They believe that "rebirth" is determined by the accumulated good or bad deeds done in the previous live. Therefore, those who have earned less merit are reborn as demons, ghosts, animals, or inhabitants of hell.
There are some believers among the Burmese in Finland who can be used of the Lord to introduce them to the Savior.
What are their needs? The Burmese need language and job skills so they can flourish economically in Finland's modern economy.
Prayer Points * Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Finland and share the love of Christ with Burmese Buddhists.
* Ask God to use the Burmese believers to share the gospel with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will being faithfully interceding for these precious people.
* Pray for the effectiveness of the JESUS Film among the Burmese.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Burmese in Europe.