Threats to Our Existence – Chin Human Rights Organization

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Threats to Our Existence – Chin Human Rights Organization

The 160-page report, entitled “‘Threats to Our Existence’: Persecution of Ethnic Chin Christians in Burma” draws on more than 100 in-depth interviews conducted over the past two years.  The report exposes a decades-long pattern of religious freedom violations that persist today, and documents other serious human rights abuses such as forced labour, torture, and other cruel and inhuman treatment, forcing thousands of Chin to flee their homeland.

Background

Around 500,000 ethnic Chin live in the northwestern area of Chin State in Burma.  The Chin are ethnically very diverse, speaking more than 20 mutually distinct languages. Despite such diversity, the Chin are unified through a common history, geographical homeland, traditional practices, ethnic identity and religion.  Today the Chin are approximately 90 percent Christian, in a country that is predominantly Buddhist, and Christianity is largely viewed as an integral part of the Chin identity.  The denial of religious freedom in Burma today, particularly for minority groups like Chin Christians, is rooted in discrimination on the dual basis of ethnicity and religion.  This endemic discrimination is arguably a product of extreme Burman nationalism based on a distorted version of Buddhism characterized by the State Law and Order Restoration Council / State Peace and Development Council (SLORC/SPDC) regime.  Widespread restrictions on freedom of religion were a central pillar of SLORC/SPDC’s drive to ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously homogenize the ethnic minority areas of the Union of Burma as part of an unwritten forced assimilation policy known as “Burmanization”.  As part of this drive, monks loyal to military rule were dispatched to Chin State by SLORC in the 1990s under the Hill Regions Buddhist Mission within the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and many cooperated closely with the military.  Burma Army soldiers exacted forced labour from Chin Christians to build pagodas, and monasteries for the monks.

 

Related Info about CHRO:

  1. CHRO – Ethnic Chin Christians from Burma denied religious freedom,  coerced to convert to Buddhism

Read the Excutive Summary of the report Threats to Our Existence Online:

 [pdf http://kanglaonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Executive-Summary_Threats-to-Our-Existence.pdf ]

* The above information  is being sent to KanglaOnline.com by Chin Human Rights Organization. Contact details info{at}chro{at}ca

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