Myanmar’s President has signed a law requiring interfaith couples to seek permission before they can marry.
“Under the law, interfaith couples have to notify the local government and post a public announcement of their intention to marry,” reports Al Jazeera. “They will be allowed to wed if there are no objections.”
The law was put forward by a hard-line nationalist Buddhist group, Ma Ba Tha – or the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion – to protect the Buddhist faith of the majority Burman population.
“Critics fear the new law will be used to discriminate against minorities,” reports Al Jazeera. The Muslim Rohingya minority are not acknowledged as citizens of Myanmar.
Key ethnic groups (Chin, Karen), who are predominantly Christian, comprise less than 10 per cent of the population. Myanmar is ranked 25th on Open Doors International’s World Watch List, which ranks the 50 countries in which life is most difficult for Christians.