July 10, 2009

Myanmar Baptists Plan Major Bicentennial Celebration

Eron Henry, Associate Director of Communications
Neville Callam, General Secretary
Baptist World Alliance
July 10, 2009

Baptists in Myanmar are laying the groundwork for a massive jubilee celebration, to be held in 2013, to mark the bicentennial anniversary of the founding of Baptist witness in that South Asian country.

Myanmar, which had its name changed from Burma in 1989, has the largest Baptist convention on the Asian continent, with more than 1.1 million members, most of whom are ethnic minorities such as the Chin, Kachin and the Karen.

Adoniram and Ann Judson, who were among the first American Baptist missionaries to travel overseas, arrived in what is now Myanmar in 1813. They labored in that country for almost 40 years, establishing a number of Baptist churches and translating the Christian Bible into Burmese.

The celebratory events begin in 2009 with the theme "Thy will be done in Myanmar." Each succeeding year will have its own emphasis and theme on faithfulness, transformation, preservation and holiness, culminating in 2013. Some 10,000 persons are expected to attend the major celebration in Yangon, the country's former capital, formerly known as Rangoon.

In addition, each of the 18 language and regional conventions that make up the Myanmar Baptist Convention (MBC) will have its own regional celebration. A major publication, a chronicle or history of Baptist witness in the country, will also be published, following on a similar publication several decades ago.

The Myanmar celebration will include Burmese who live in other countries.


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