The Bama, who number more than 28 million, are mostly Theravada Buddhists. As with folk Buddhists everywhere, they mix Buddhist beliefs with traditional religious practices. These practices center around evils spirits called nats. Many Bama spend their lives trying to appease nats.
Engagement — What’s Happening Now
The Myanmar Assemblies of God is the third-largest national church in the Asia Pacific region and the largest church within a majority Buddhist country. However, the greatest response to the gospel has been among minority peoples while the majority Bama (also called Burmese), who make up 62 percent of the 50 million people in the country, are only 0.1 percent Christian..
Sustainability — The Bigger Story
Missionaries had to leave Myanmar in 1966. Since that time Christian movements have experienced massive growth. The Myanmar Assemblies of God has more than 100,000 adherents with a strong presence among several tribal groups.
In recent years, doors have opened to allow cross-cultural workers to be present in various service capacities and creative business options. Majority Burmese speak a language called Bama and have access to a New Testament translation. Currently, in Myanmar, Bible schools are producing ministers for existing churches and new church planting opportunities. Involvement with AG media ministries in the Asia Pacific also exists.
Partnership — Move Beyond
- Pray that the few followers of Christ among the Burmese will be kind and compassionate to one another.
- Pray that God will give the team of cross-cultural workers wisdom, guidance and anointing of the Spirit as they seek to reach out to the Bama and encourage the church.
- Pray for spiritual breakthrough for the Bama who are in spiritual darkness.