Area: 676,577 sq km
Basin and delta of the Irrawaddy River ringed by a horseshoe of high mountains that isolates the country from India, China and Thailand.
Population: 50,495,672 Annual Growth: 0.87%
Official language: Burmese Languages: 116 All languages
Largest Religion: Buddhist
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Praise God for the refining of the Church, made possible by the desperation of persecution, poverty and isolation. Liberal groups have drawn closer to biblical truth, and lax believers are driven toward a more dynamic life of faith. Myanmar is a classic example of how suffering, while lamentable, serves to accomplish Gods purposes for His people.
The suffering and poverty of the Burmese is an increasing challenge in the light of:
a) The devastation of cyclone Nargis. When it ripped through the country in May 2008, around 140,000 people lost their lives from the storm itself and the disease and deprivation that followed. About $10 billion (US) in damage was done. The destruction was exacerbated by the governments slow response, the regimes refusal to allow foreign aid groups to enter affected areas with relief and aid, and corruption which saw the best of the aid siphoned off to the army.
b) A downward-spiralling economy. The currency is devaluing, food and fuel prices are rising quickly and people live from hand to mouth with little to spare 10% are chronically malnourished. This is mostly due to government corruption and mismanagement. Such a precarious existence makes people even more vulnerable.
For an additional 10 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Myanmar.