Myanmar is seeking public approval for a new religious-conversion law that would require anyone who wants to change religions to obtain legal permission.
The proposed law, put forward by Buddhist monks, would require any Burmese citizen who plans to change religion to wait at least 90 days and seek permission from various governmental departments.
Penalties for not seeking governmental approval have not been proposed but anyone who forces others to convert could be imprisoned for at least one year.
Human Rights Watch Asia director Brad Adams said, “Myanmar’s government is stoking communal tensions by considering a draft law that will politicize religion and permit government intrusion on decisions of faith. Following more than two years of anti-Muslim violence, this law would put Muslims and other religious minorities in an even more precarious situation.”