On February 1, Myanmar’s military seized power in early morning coup. Almost immediately, citizens from across the country rose up in protest. Originating with health care workers, the protest movement quickly spread to encompass diverse communities and constituencies. Despite increased military intimidation in the form of nighttime arrests, use of force, and internet shortages, the largely youth-led civil disobedience movement has proven defiant. The protests have shown both extraordinary creativity and pragmatic coordination to provide mutual aid support for striking government employees and to forge trans-national alliances. In this deeply religious country, religious clergy, symbols, practices, charity networks, and places of worship have all featured as part of the protest landscape. In this online discussion, Burmese and Thai activists of diverse backgrounds will analyze the religious dimensions of both the coup and the response to it, demonstrating how an understanding of the religious dimension of current events can contribute to a fuller understanding of what is taking place.


  • Wai Wai Nu, Founder and Executive Director, Women Peace Network
  • David Moe, PhD Candidate, Asbury Theological Seminary
  • Somboon Chungrampree, International Network of Engaged Buddhists

This event is organized by the Religion and Public Life Program at the Harvard Divinity School and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School and the Asia Center at Harvard University. Register on Zoom.