21Wilberforce in Northern Thailand

21Wilberforce recently traveled in Northern Thailand with the goals of deepening our partnerships with those working to counteract the renewed violence against religious and ethnic minorities resulting from a military coup in the neighboring  country of Burma in early 2021.

During the trip, the 21Wilberforce team met with key civil society organizations, ministry partners and Baptist leaders to learn more about the situation. It was sobering to hear of all the needs in Burma and in the refugee camps in Thailand. These people have faced decades of war and the current air attacks have forced many people to flee their homes to hide in the jungle. The Burmese military junta, the Tatmadaw, have actively targeted places of worship, schools, and hospitals, displacing nearly 1.5 million people and deliberately blocking access to humanitarian aid. There are many basic needs that need to be met, but our partners on the ground also emphasized the need to educate their students in how to reach a potentially brighter future through effective peacemaking and administration.

This trip also supports our continued policy work on advocating for the passage of the Burma Act in Congress. We recently created a grassroots advocacy tool that has mobilized thousands of church members and Burmese diaspora members to write their members of Congress in support of the proposed legislation. You can read more about that campaign here.

21Wilberforce has also participated with other organizations in pushing for the Rohingya genocide declaration from the US for several years, which thankfully was issued this year. Most recently, we made a video and written statement to the UN Human Rights Council raising awareness for what is happening throughout Myanmar to Christians, Muslims, and other religious minorities.