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Myanmar has long struggled with its ethnic diversity and the need for reconciliation. Since gaining independence from British domination, Myanmar has been plagued by ethnic conflict between the majority Bamar and the ethnic minorities, and to a lesser extent among the minorities themselves. These divisions are also apparent between the various church denominations. Not only is Christianity considered a foreign religion, but it is also fractured along ethnic lines, further complicating its image in the eyes of the Buddhist majority. This division creates additional obstacles when Bamar converts want to join a local church consisting primarily of one ethnic minority.
Part two of this paper examines the theological foundations for a biblical understanding of the church as a diverse but unified body of redeemed people. Key Bible passages focusing on the implications of this reality will be explored. This understanding is essential for the church in Myanmar to fulfill its mandate as a missional body, demonstrating God’s love in a fractured multi-ethnic society. Challenges to fulfilling this role will be examined, as well as initiatives that may lead toward reconciliation and diversity both within the church and in society.
Part three presents theological implications of an inclusive model of missional church in Myanmar. This model promotes reconciliation and embraces multi-ethnic diversity, creating a welcoming environment towards building a transformational community. To this end, students at the Myanmar Evangelical Graduate School of Theology will learn what constitutes a missional church in the Myanmar context. They will be encouraged to introduce this model among the churches they serve. The process for introducing the missional church paradigm to seminary students through a mission course and relevant assignments will be presented in chapter six, followed by implementation steps and desired outcomes.
Doctor of Ministry
Myanmar, Ethnic, Bamar, Minorities, Reconciliation, Mission, Unity
Missions and World Christianity
Material is subject to copyright.
Van Dorp, Arend AC, "Ethnic Diversity and Reconciliation: A Missional Model for the Church in Myanmar" (2019). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 394.