Long-term volunteer serving in Thailand/Burma: Amy Davisson Galetzka
More than 85 percent of the population of Myanmar holds to conservative Buddhist tradition, while about 5 percent is Christian, primarily Roman Catholic. Christians struggle to be an authentic voice of the culture of Myanmar while remaining faithful to the gospel.
The general secretary of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar, the Rev. Dr. Dengthuama, says, “The Christian church is called on to be a community of grace, living among all the realities of today’s world.” This is difficult in a society where the state has taken over mission schools and hospitals and the church is strongest among tribal peoples with little history of participating in politics.
Dengthuama says, “We really need a leader like Moses who dismantles the politics of oppression and can establish politics of justice and compassion.”
Dengthuama studied at the San Francisco Theological Seminary from 1992 to 1994, through the PC(USA)’s International Leadership Development program. He says, “My gratitude is to your leader development program. The first priority of the Presbyterian Church of Myanmar is leader development. We are building a new seminary and covet your prayers.”
Ecumenical News International reports that women account for more than half of the students enrolled in Myanmar’s theology classes. Of the 4,000 students enrolled in theological colleges run by Protestant churches in 2004, more than 50 percent are women. Observers say that interest in these 27 theological institutions has risen in response to government curbs on secular colleges after pro-democracy student protests in 1988.
The PC(USA) works in Myanmar through cooperation with its church partners.
Myanmar Partner Churches and Organizations
Presbyterian Church of Myanmar
Myanmar Council of Churches
Tahan Theological College
Learn more about Myanmar (Burma)
Visit the BBC country profile.