Contact: Ben Duff, Christian Freedom International, 540-636-8907
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Oct. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- As thousands of monks in Burma are raising their voices in protest of the country's oppressive regime, Christian Freedom International (CFI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing relief aid and advocacy for persecuted Christians around the world, is calling on Christians everywhere to pray for the perilous situation.
The civil unrest in recent weeks has drawn the world's attention to a nation that has long since been troubled by grinding poverty and a violent military junta that has held its tyrannical power since the 1960's. Buddhist monks, who represent the highest moral authority in Burma, have been instrumental in leading a series of peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrations in cities throughout the country.
However, military retaliation has already caused the deaths of several demonstrators, although unofficial reports from dissident groups are indicating that the number is much higher. The government's clampdown on the uprising, including the restriction of public Internet access and a barricade of Buddhist monasteries, has caused a flurry of international outrage throughout the United States, Europe, and neighboring Asian countries.
In an act of solidarity with the protesters, Christians in rural areas of Burma's southern Karen State recently gathered in local schools to pray and share information about the nationwide demonstrations. While many Christians may like to participate in the protests, their involvement would risk almost certain widespread military retaliation.
Christian Freedom International has been actively providing humanitarian aid in Burma since 1996, where Karen and Karenni Christians have been the victims of the government's brutal ethnic cleansing campaign for decades. Under the leadership of CFI President Jim Jacobson, a former White House policy analyst during the Reagan administration, the organization has established schools, orphanages and hospitals along the Burma-Thai border for thousands of refugees that have been displaced by the country's devastating civil war. Jacobson has also been a relentless advocate for the U.S. resettlement program, which, after much political debate, has finally begun granting asylum to hundreds of persecuted Karen refugees.
To learn more about CFI's programs in Burma, visit www.christianfreedom.org.