Mennonite youth at a peace conference in Myanmar pledged not to get involved in armed revolution.
More than 160 people between the ages of 16 and 35 registered for the conference, which included the baptism of seven people, April 13-17 in Akaw.
The conference focused on Ephesians 2:17: “[Jesus] proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.”
The subject of peace is relevant for young people living through the trauma of civil war in Myanmar, the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma.
In February 2021, after national elections, the military seized power, installed its own leaders and responded with violence to pro-democracy protests. Opponents of the military takeover soon developed their own militias.
“We don’t want our youth to get involved in armed revolution,” said Amos Chin, a Mennonite leader and conference presenter. “All youth are convinced [about] the peace movement and made a declaration for peace not to get in armed revolution.”
John Stanley Puia, a church leader and conference organizer, said: “As these young people are living in the civil war and threatened by the extremists, they are strongly inspired and empowered by the message [of peace during the conference]. We need more peace conferences and peaceful programs for the unpeaceful generation.”