Majority-Buddhist Myanmar is made up of eight major and eight minor ethnic groups, each of which hoped for autonomy after Burmese independence 70 years ago, and some of the world’s longest-running civil wars continue here. Operation World, a Christian missionary organisation, calls Myanmar “a deeply fractured nation on a political and especially ethnic level”. The conflict zones along the country’s borders are where most of Myanmar’s Christians live, including the Kachin and Karen ethnic minorities, which have faced years of government oppression. Meanwhile, the rise in the number of Muslims has provoked the Patriotic Association of Myanmar, locally known as Ma Ba Tha and led by influential Buddhist monks. Ma Ba Tha is not merely anti-Muslim, it is Buddhist nationalist, so Christians are not beyond its focus. Myanmar was thrown into a crisis following a coup on 1 February 2021 which has left ethnic religious minorities even more vulnerable.
The Huffington Post reports that, while persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the majority Buddhist country has attracted much international attention, in Chin State – along Myanmar’s northwest border – a predominantly Christian population faces its own challenges and restrictions. “There is no improvement with regard to religious freedom […]
What most people know about Myanmar is that Aung San Suu Kyi has been prevented from becoming its leader, despite her overwhelming popularity. That may finally change in elections later this year. Myanmar is made up of eight major ethnic groups, who all hoped for autonomy after gaining independence after […]
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 […]
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 […]
Christians around the world who’ve been praying for Myanmar have been warned against ‘euphoria’ over reform, while Christian and Muslim minorities remain under attack by the military. Sunday March 10 marked the 16th anniversary of the Global Day of Prayer for Burma, which celebrated some progress towards reform, but warned […]
Amid global euphoria over reforms in Burman-majority parts of Myanmar, life has changed little for more than 3 million Christians and other minorities left to suffer from one of the world’s longest running civil wars. Headlines around the world hailed the induction on Wednesday (May 2) of opposition leader Aung […]
Attacks on Christians in Myanmar continued into the Christmas season in Kachin state as Burmese Army troops killed a civilian and destroyed church property despite President Thein Sein’s order to stop the war against insurgents. A Baptist church in Loije, Bhamo district, held a funeral on Dec. 27 for 47-year-old Maran […]