The History of the Karen People of Burma by Angelene Naw with Jerry Cain as editor details the Karen ethnic minority’s many-centuries-long struggle with the Burmese majority in Burma/Myanmar. Told from a Christian Karen perspective, this book shares the history of Christian missionary work that predates Adoniram Judson. Additionally, Naw shares how the missionaries helped the Karen codify a written language, opening educational opportunities for a culture eager to learn; how religious differences have fueled open warfare for generations, and more. Stories of heroism and bravery amid suffering and oppression abound. Because the study of ethnic minorities is illegal in Burma, this book provides a unique perspective of someone who has not only studied but lived the experience.
“Dr. Angelene Naw’s groundbreaking history of the Karen people of Burma is an extraordinary volume. In one concise package, she presents the story of the Karens of Burma. I was astounded at the depth of research and how Dr. Naw captured the faith and courage of a tenacious people who not only embraced Christianity but took seriously Christ’s command to “go into all the world” with the message. Her contribution is unique because it is her story as well. She beautifully blends the history with the stories of courageous Karen heroes, along with mission pioneers who invested their lives in bringing the good news to a brave and tenacious people. Be challenged and inspired as you meet some of these heroes and track their remarkable footsteps. Everyone who loves missions and history will be captivated by the stories of an army of faithful believers.”—Rosalie Hall Hunt, author of Bless God and Take Courage: The Judson History and Legacy and The Extraordinary Story of Ann Hasseltine Judson: A Life Beyond Boundaries
“Angelene Naw has crafted a sweeping record of the Karen people from their prehistoric origins to the present. An insightful Karen academic, Naw carefully documents the forging of Karen nationhood through centuries of oppression, culture building, hard-fought literacy, broken promises, and transformed faith. This is an essential read for all wishing to understand the rich facets of Karen identity.”— Reid S. Trulson, International Ministries, Executive Director/CEO, retired
Angelene Naw, Professor Emerita of History at Judson University, Illinois has taught at the University of Rangoon, from where she also received her BA and MA. Her PhD is from the University of Hawaii, at Manoa. She is the author of Aung San and the Struggle for Burmese Independence, published by the Silkworm Books, Chiangmai, Thailand. (Co-publisher: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies). She is also one of the co-authors of the four-volume book, Political History of Myanmar 1948-1962, published in Burmese language by the Historical Research Department, University of Rangoon, Burma. While she was working as a Director of Hotels and Tourism from 1992-1998, she wrote several articles in Tourism magazines published in Thailand and Burma. She has presented a series of lectures on Karen people at conferences beginning with a paper titled "An Analysis of the Leadership Style and Political Attitudes of Aung San (father) and Aung San Suu Kyi (daughter) Towards the Karen People: A Historical Perspective," at the Karen Reunion (North America) held in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2003. Because of her dedication to the Karen refugee settlements in the United States, she was awarded the Elgin YWCA's Racial Justice Award in 2016.
Jerry B. Cain spent his career in Christian higher education with 14 years as President of Judson University in Illinois preceded by 20 years as Chaplain and Collegiate Vice President at William Jewell College. His fascination with the missionary legacy of Adoniram Judson led him to recruit a true Orientalist, Dr. Angelene Naw, to teach Eastern History and Civilization at Judson University. Now in retirement, his fascination with missionary history continues to grow resulting in a collaboration with Dr. Naw to produce The History of the Karen People of Burma. Dr. Cain lives with his wife, Linda, in suburban Kansas City where he is involved with the Grace Karen Baptist Church.