The National Council of Australian Baptist Ministries [ABM] stand in solidarity with all the church communities from Myanmar that are members of State Unions affiliated with ABM. We grieve with them as they witness their family and friends displaced, persecuted, and killed at the hands of the Myanmar military.
We note, that according to the United Nations an estimated 1,584,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) were reported across Myanmar as of 30 January 2023 and there are more than 1million refugees and asylum seekers in neighbouring countries. We know that church buildings have been destroyed and pastors detained.
We call on the Australian government to:
- increase humanitarian visas to refugees from Myanmar, particularly from ethnic areas
such as the Chin, Kachin, Karen and Karenni States where people have been displaced and
waiting for settlement for upward of 35 years
- increase humanitarian aid to these ethnic areas that struggle to receive international
support due to Myanmar Government restrictions and
- increase pressure on the Myanmar government through further sanctions against
individuals and companies associated with the Myanmar military and further action at
ASEAN and the UN.
- increase pressure on the Indian Government to issue exit permits to refugees who have
already been granted Australian visas.
We commit ourselves to prayer, to continue to speak out on behalf of the people of
Myanmar, in particular those connected to our church community members from Myanmar,
and we commit to providing material support to displaced communities in Myanmar and
border refugee camps.
This statement was unanimously approved by the National Council of Australian Baptist
Ministries on 17th May 2023.