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The Crisis in Myanmar — A Statement of Support for Our Students and the People of Myanmar

Our hearts go out to our students from Myanmar, who are not only navigating the many burdens and uncertainties imposed by studying abroad in a pandemic, but also worry about the welfare of their families and friends back home in the aftermath of the February coup. Sometimes, our students lose contact with their families: Communication is often difficult, as not all homes have internet access, which the military continues to monitor and curtail. 

The Graduate Theological Union stands with the brave people of Myanmar, who risk retaliation, imprisonment, and even death as they protest the military coup that has displaced their fairly elected government. 

The violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, in which insurrectionists attempted to overturn a legal national election, brings the Myanmar coup into sharp relief. We see how fragile democracy can be, and how important it is for the people to prevail. 

Naturally, our students from Myanmar wish they could be with their families and helping their country at this perilous time. We assure them: Your scholarship IS activism, as you prepare yourselves for leadership. The GTU’s mission includes “equipping scholars to embody the critical thinking, ethical frameworks, compassionate values, and spiritual foundations essential to building a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.” This is your role, as you complete your doctoral programs and prepare for the future. Until then, the GTU community extends its steadfast support to you and to the people of Myanmar. 

- Uriah Kim, President, and Elizabeth S. Peña, Interim Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs
On behalf of the Graduate Theological Union community