Reflections of a Community’s Feelings Toward Current Situation in Myanmar

Paw Say Ku at a protest in 2017.

Paw Say Ku works at Heartland Alliance's Refugee and Immigrant Community Services and is studying for a Masters in Clinical Mental Health from Adler University. Paw is a member of North Shore Baptist Church, comprised of an English language, Spanish language, Japanese language and Karen language congregation. The Karen congregation, comprised of refugees from Myanmar and their children born in the US, was established in 2009.  

The current situation happening in Myanmar is not a surprise for some of us. Many ethnic groups have experience suffering of loss and pain for many generations. Many people were forced to flee from their hometown to live in the camp, and some of us are lucky to be resettled in a new country and in the U.S. It is painful to see images of children and families that are being internally displaced. No matter how far we all might be, we feel the pain, we feel the anger, and we feel the disappointment. 

What is happening in Myanmar is very traumatic for many and retraumatizing for some.  I saw the community’s feelings when I attended a remote Karen [ethnic/language group in Myanmar] worship through zoom. Our small Karen congregation in Chicago prays and each family contributes some money to send back for the people in Myanmar. We sang, worshiped, and prayed as we remembered those who are back in Myanmar.   

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.  

How do we fight the evil and darkness during this time? No matter how small or how far we might be from the situation, we could use our voices to speak up, come to stand together as one human kind. May we stand strong like a tree.  May we continue to care for one another, show love and support in our own way. May there be Peace and Justice in Myanmar. 


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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.