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Myanmar's Cardinal Bo exhorts faithful to advocate justice, equality as civil war rages on

Cardinal Bo delivering the Inaugural Address at the FABC 50 years celebrations in Bangkok on August 22.

In his Easter message, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, has appealed to the people to become advocates for justice and equality as the armed conflict between the country's military junta and ethnic armed groups continues since the February 2021 coup.

The faithful would be truly people of the Resurrection if they would "advocate for justice and equality," he said.

"We must stand up for those who are oppressed and marginalized, and work to eliminate the systemic forces that keep people in poverty and suffering and bury the innocents before their death," the Cardinal said.

He also invited his people to become peacemakers.

"We must work to resolve conflicts and bring about reconciliation, both in our personal relationships and the wider world," he said.

"And finally, we must be people of prayer and faith," the prelate said. "Yes, brothers and sisters: this is the time of prayer, more prayers, unceasing prayers. Prayers against the agents of death. Prayers against all powers that believe in the power of darkness and death."

The Cardinal, who also heads the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC), invited Myanmar's people to entrust their hopes for peace and reconciliation to Christ.

He pressed that God raises His finger to free His people from the bondage of injustices throughout history.

"Easter is the story of God’s limitless compassion for suffering humanity," he said. "You and I and all the suffering people of the world can take heart, as God’s message is liberation from all kinds of suffering."

He mentioned the liberation of the Israelites -- His chosen people -- from the shackles of their slavery in Egypt. Moses -- His chosen leader,  led them to freedom.

"For many the message of history is a despairing tomb," the prelate said. "Many chose to bury themselves in hatred, in vengeance and despair. But what are the “tombs” of today, where humanity’s hopes are buried? There are many, unfortunately. Poverty, disease, war, inequality, and injustice are just a few examples of the “tombs” that threaten to bury our hopes and dreams for a better world. These forces stand in the way of peace and prosperity for all people."

"So, how can we remove the 'tombstones' and bring about a new world of peace and prosperity," he went on. "The tombstones look too heavy. Too many, this life has been too long buried in despair. Can there be a resurrection to the tombs covered with heavy stones?"

The Cardinal said Easter's message was that there's not a stone that's too heavy, nor a burden too great, for God's love could overcome them.

He also called on the people to "roll down the stones of hatred, human suffering and let the message" of Resurrection live in their hearts and rejoice in the triumph of Christ over death and sins.

According to a BBC News article on April 7, 2023, about 10,000 Myanmar nationals fled to Thailand to avoid the fighting between the military junta forces and the ethnic armed group.

Thousands have already died, and about 1.4 million people have been displaced since the coup in 2021.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.