The Lititz Church of the Brethren at the initiative of the former Witness Commission in cooperation with Church World Service Immigration Department sponsored two Karen families; the Diamond Johnny family of five in June 2008 and the Shee Sho family of 5 in September 2008. When sponsorship broke down for a third family in our community, Lutheran Social Services contacted the church and encouraged the support of a third family, the Poe Chi family of 7 (mother a widow).
A community Karen/Chin worship service was held in our chapel about two years ago. Currently, an increasing population of Karen/Chin people in Lititz is obvious. The Witness and Outreach team offered the chapel facilities to Diamond and Angel Kenneth, leaders of the Karen/Chin community and members of our church. The first Karen/Chin community service this summer was held on July 28. The had more services on August 25, September 29 and October 27 with an average attendance about 100. Plans are to continue this community ministry the last Sunday of each month at 3 p.m. in the chapel.
The church staff appoints someone to attend the service to show support to our Karen brothers and sisters.
Anyone is invited to attend but the entire service is in the Karen language.
About the Karen People
The Karen people are an ethnic group living in South-East Asia. The Karen people are culturally and linguistically diverse. While most Karen people are Skaw Karen, there are other Karen cultural and language groups such as Pwo Karen and Bwe Karen. There are about seven million Karen people living in Burma (Myanmar), about half a million Thai-Karen whose ancestral villages are in Thailand, and smaller groups of Karen living in India and other South-East Asian countries.
There are about 140,000 Karen refugees living in camps in Thailand, and about 50,000 Karen refugees have been resettled in America, Canada, Australia, and some European countries. Learn more about the Karen people
About the Chin People
Chin State is located in the southern part of northwestern Burma (Myanmar), bordered by Bangladesh and India to the west, Rakhine State to the south, and Magwe and Sagaing Divisions to the east. The entire state is about 14,400 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Switzerland. Chin State is also known as the “Chin Hills” due to its mountainous geography that has an average elevation of 5000-8000 feet. The highest peak is Mt. Victoria that rises 10,017 ft. above sea level.
It is estimated that at least 60,000 Chin refugees are living in India while more than 20,000 Chin refugees are living in Malaysia. Several thousands more are scattered in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Learn more about the Chin people