The Morning Star was a monthly periodical published from 1842 to 1942 in the Sgaw Karen language by the American Baptist Mission Press in Myanmar (Burma). It has been cited as being the "first of its kind" in Asia, in its use by a mission. Its first editor, Rev. Francis Mason, claimed it was "the oldest native newspaper in Further India," although preceded in Myanmar by a Burmese version of the English-language Moulmein Chronicle. The Burmese-language Religious Herald began printing later in 1842.
While the Morning Star is well known in Karen circles, few large collections still exist outside Myanmar. The American Baptist Historical Society Collection of the Morning Star is one of the most comprehensive in the world, and an invaluable resource on the history and culture of the Karen people of Myanmar.
Mason used the Morning Star to educate and exhort Karen Baptists, but not all articles had a religious purpose. The Star was used to circulate announcements by the mission, local and world news, government proclamations, and obituaries. Some issues contained didactic pieces on scientific or geographic topics, or church history. Most included letters, journals, or reports from itinerant Karen evangelists traveling in remote parts of Burma or Siam, or from students in the United States. Jonathan Wade's Karen translation of The Pilgrim's Progress first appeared here alongside sermons, articles on the ill effects of drinking alcohol or tattooing, calls for donations, and biographical sketches.