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February 29, 2020

The Bible Society of Myanmar reopens after major renovations

Vice President U Henry Van Thio and dignitaries cut ceremonial ribbons to open the main building of The Bible Society of Myanmar in Kyauktada Township, Yangon.  Photo: MNA
Vice President U Henry Van Thio and dignitaries cut ceremonial ribbons to open the main building of The Bible Society of Myanmar in Kyauktada Township, Yangon.  Photo: MNA

The main building of The Bible Society of Myanmar on Sule Pagoda Road in Kyauktada Township, Yangon, underwent major renovations and the completion was inaugurated by Vice President U Henry Van Thio yesterday morning.
Firstly, Rev Daw Ni Ni Swe gave prayers and sang a hymn. Next, the Vice President, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein, Deputy Ministers U Tin Myint and U Kyi Min, Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee member Dr Saw Tun Aung Myint and Treasurer Rev Dr Saw Crainner of The Bible Society of Myanmar cut ceremonial ribbons to formally open the building.
Next, the Vice President and Rev Dr Daw Crainner unveiled the building’s stone plaque and the Bible society’s Vice Chairman Archdeacon Judson Win Nandar Tun sprinkled holy water on it.
Following this, the Bible society’s Chairman Rev Dr Zaw Win delivered the welcoming address and Bible agency Secretary Rev U Khoi Lam Thang explained about the bible society.
Next, the Vice President delivered a speech where he said the Bible society works hard to ensure the Bible is available for everyone in their mother tongue. He said 15 Christian Churches and 4 organizations are members of the Bible society.
He said they have translated the Bible into 45 languages of Myanmar and the New Testament into 21 languages and prints about 80,000 books every year. This is why the society is a proud heritage of Christians and stands as a prominent idol of lasting Christianity, said the Vice President.
He explained that it has been 130 years since the British and Foreign Bible Society performed Christian missions in Myanmar in 1889, and although it was reformed into the Bible Society of Myanmar in 1964, it became a member of the United Bible Societies in 1969.
The Vice President said both buildings of the Bible society were weathered and construction of other buildings in close proximity in 1998 affected their structural integrity and so action was needed to preserve them.
He said the ownership of the buildings were successfully transferred to the Bible society on 8 December 2015 from the British and Foreign Bible Society since they left the country in 1962.
He said MYO & PEC Group Construction Co Ltd handled the renovation from December 2018 to November 2019 using over K 360.4 million.
The Vice President said Myanmar has been home to different ethnic nationals and to those of different faiths since ancient times.
He said while the majority are Buddhists other faiths such as Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are officially recognized as well.
The Vice President said compassion being the basis of living is the common teaching of all religions and urged the Christian Churches to keep the goodwill and development of all of Myanmar in their prayers.
He thanked everyone involved in renovating the old building of Bible society and wished for it to continue being an image of unity among the churches.
Next, Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein delivered an address, Myanmar Anglican Church offered prayers and Father Murray Rano Soe Naing of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference made prayers.
Afterwards, the attendees sang a hymn and Rev Aaron Sut Nyat (UBS Ministry Resource Facilitator – Team Leader) gave an address and concluded the ceremony. — MNA (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)

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