A Blossoming Group
The Karen Church is a fellowship of Karen and other Burmese believers that previously met in the facilities of First Baptist Church. We were two congregations but one church.
Rev. Zabiak Cung Biaka and Rev. Len Niawn Thang are their guiding pastors. The fellowship numbers around 120 people and is growing. They now meet in their own church building located at 2625 12th Avenue here in Regina.
Their mission is to strengthen their members to be faithful servants for Christ.
They are at the forefront of efforts to establish a cross-Canada fellowship of Karen believers.
In 2005 First Baptist Church was invited to assist 200 people from refugee camps in Thailand to resettle in Canada. These people are from the Karen cultural group, the group most persecuted by the regime in Burma/Myanmar. Many have lost friends and family members in the ongoing persecution and have fled to live in the dangerous jungles or refugee camps (see 1, 2). About 120 of this group are now part of New Friends in Christ.
Since arriving, the Karen people have been upgrading their English, education and occupational skills and are now productive members of the community. With great joy we have shared in shared in births, marriages, baptisms, educational achievements, and starting the road to citizenship.
Even Earlier Beginnings
Rev. Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) was the first Baptist missionary to leave from North America (1812) for unreached lands. His work in Burma was carried on by one of his early Karen converts – Ko Tha Byu, known as the Karen Apostle. Within 25 years there were 12,000 disciples. These are the forebears of the modern Karen Christians.
See also the Wikipedia article.