Myanmar is moving towards greater interfaith freedom of expression, but challenges remain, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Benedict Rogers, writing for the Wall Street Journal.

Rogers notes that, while the country has made great strides in recent years, there is an ongoing threat of ethnic and religious violence. However, he states that “the prospect of guns falling silent across Myanmar for the first time in over 65 years may be closer than ever”.

“But at the same time,” Rogers writes, “We heard testimonies of sexual violence, forced labour and religious discrimination from Chin Christians. Over the years, Chin state has suffered from a chronic lack of basic services, including infrastructure and medical care, thanks to the previous regime’s deliberate policy of subjugation. If real change is to be secured, policies based on ethnicity or religion must end.”

Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist, but many of the non-Burmese ethnic nationalities have significant Christian populations, while Muslims may account for up to 10% of the population.