Am 20. Juli 2020 erhielten wir folgende Mail von unserem Freund und Partner, Dr. Maung Maung Yin, vom Myanmar Institute of Theology (MIT) in Yangon über die gegenwärtige Lage in der Corona Krise in Myanmar. Wir geben sie hier in Auszügen zu Ihrer Information weiter – in der englischen Originalfassung:
Dear Ursula and friends in Germany,
Hope that this email finds you well. By the grace of God, my family and I are doing fine, at least physically, but sometimes, emotionally and mentally, frustrated and depressed because of COVID-19 situation here and elsewhere. But, thank you for friends like you, though not many, for your empathy, concerns, support and prayers.
To update you with the situation here, MIT had to cancel the M. Div, M.Th. and LAP final year students inclass teaching program for the month of August because of the pandemic situation here. Instead, we have started the online teaching/learning program through zoom meetings, facebook closed groups and emails. It’s all new to us and makes us nervous as well as excited. Also frustrating since some of us are not iT savvy and also because of poor facilities here in Myanmar. I also feel bad for those students in some places, though not many, couldn’t join the online class due to certain circumstances, including civil wars. Nevertheless, MIT as an academic situation, we have to keep going somehow for students‘ sake and for our sake.
At the same time, keep praying that the lockdown/restrictions for the whole country would lift sooner than later so that we can go back to original state of doing daily business, of course, with measures imposed for the prevention of the second wave of pandemic here. I do thank God that we still are not yet suffering from outbreak of this disease, the death rate is still 6 only since from the beginning. Domestic infection has been flattened for more than a month. Newly found infected people are those who returned from foreign countries through relief flight and through countries borders. The present government is trying very hard and successfully, I would say, to protect the people from pandemic. Beginning from Wednesday, High Schools will start opening under serious measures of restrictions and we hope that those classes would go well without any difficulties or dangers so that middle and elementry school will also be opened a little after respectively.
Some religious places like pagodas and churches are also permitted to open under restrictions ordered by Ministry of Health, especially in Ayeyarwaddy Division. Hopefully, Shwedagon pagoda will be opened to public soon in the same manner. I think Yangon will be the last to be restored since it has the maximum infection in Myanmar because of its population and other circumstances as the largest city in the country. Among my congregation, I have administered 12 + funerals until last Monday and the memorial service until last Saturday. None of them were COVID victim but just natural deaths, but funeral programs have to be conducted under pandemic restrictions which made the families very sad. Every Sunday at 9:15 a.m., our church prerecorded online service is being aired and people has to worship online. First, many join later worshippers became less and less for different reasons. Churches are also suffering from financial shortage and cutting and revising the budgets are being made, including other religious institutions such as seminaries and conventions. May be in other denominations as well. We keep on praying that no other suffering would be added, manmade or natural, to the present situation. Country’s economy is also getting worse and it was warned by both national and international experts the worst is yet to come. Very worrisome and depressive.
Hope to hear from you soon again. May God bless you all in abundance.
Much love and prayers,
Your brother in Christ in Myanmar,
Rev. Dr. Maung Maung Yin
Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Peace Studies
Founder and Director of Peace Studies Center
Myanmar Institute of Theology
President, Myanmar Baptist Convention