2000 gather in Burma cathedral for peace prayer

The Archbishop of Rangoon has offered a blessing to Burmese political prisoners at an ordination ceremony for five new priests before a large crowd in the nation's capital on Sunday, according to a report from democracy activists.

More than 100,000 people also listened to a radio broadcast of Rangoon's Archbishop Charles Maung Bo's sermon, the exile newspaper Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reports.

The special prayer service "was attended by more than 2,000 faithful including political activists attended with white clothing - white eingyi (clothing for upper part of the body). But more than 100,000 must have listened to the sermon," a political activist, San San Myint, told DVB.

"Five priests were ordained in accordance with the Christian tradition by the Archbishop himself," he said.

"The Archbishop said that he was going to bless all the people and political prisoners ... and prayed for them. I felt so joyous."

DVB linked the ceremony to a "multi-religious prayer meeting campaign" led by "88 Generation students", who had supported democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi in the 1988 uprising against Burma's military government.

"Peace-loving people throughout Burma have joined the multi-religious prayer meeting campaign led by 88 Generation Students to pray for a solution to the problems of Burma, and for political prisoners and the victims of recent natural disasters," DVB said.

At Nyaunglebin in lower Burma, local members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy visited a historic pagoda and offered up oil lamps, candles and prayer for all the intended people.

At Aunglan (Allen) in Magwe Division, activists started the campaign a day early by offering up oil lamps, candles and prayer at Kunnithayon Pagoda in central Burma. In nearby Chauk, activists carried out similar actions at Ayezedi Pagoda.

The activists all vowed to continue their activities until the end of the week, according to the DVB report.

Prayer campaign supported throughout Burma (Democratic Voice of Burma, 29/10/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Yangon (Catholic-Hierarchy)
Archbishop Charles Maung Bo (Catholic-Hierarchy)

Franciscan mission opening in Burma (CathNews, 6/7/05)
Catholic charity says Burmese Christians facing severe discrimination (CathNews, 19/4/01)

31 Oct 2006