As a result, they fought on the side of the Allies in WW2, in contrast to the majority of the Burmese (Buddhist) people who were more disposed to supporting Japan. After the war ended, continued resentment from the Burmese government, combined with religious persecution from the Buddhist majority and political ethnic cleansing, has resulted in the Karen being a persecuted and marginalised people group within Myanmar (similar to the Rohinga on the western side of Myanmar). Thirty years ago they began fleeing across the border into Thailand, and to this day 10s of thousands remain ‘stateless’ in refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border.
Anglican ministry amongst the Karen began some decades ago through a few trained evangelists who travelled through the jungles and villages of both the Thai and Myanmar sides of the border, establishing churches. These churches are together known as the KAMB – Karen Anglican Mission at the Border (KAMB). They remain isolated from the resources of their official diocese, which is in Myanmar.
Approximately 10 years ago Crosslinks (formerly BCMS) forged a partnership with the KAMB. Crosslinks began offering ministry training in annual intensives. However, as they were doing a similar work in Myanmar, and
because of the political sensitivity of working on both sides of the border, they requested that Sam McGowan (then a CMS QNNSW employee) take ownership of the project. Sam did this for 8 years, and taking teams with him In 2017 Sam McGowan, Peter Judge-Mears from Wishart Anglican in Brisbane, Trent Minton and David Greeff (CMS WA Branch Secretary) trained people in understanding and teaching the book of Daniel.
Sam McGowan no longer works for CMS, and has just taken pastoral oversight of a church in Brisbane, so can no longer be involved. Trent Minton has taken on pastoral oversight of a new church in the Grafton region, and can also no longer be involved. In 2018 Peter Judge-Mears and David Greeff were joined by Marc and Marsha Dale from St Alban’s to train people in understanding and teaching the letter to the Hebrews.