Last Updated: Friday, 29 August 2014, 14:18 GMT

Chins denied religious freedom in Myanmar

Publisher Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
Publication Date 5 September 2012
Cite as Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), Chins denied religious freedom in Myanmar, 5 September 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/5049c5a42.html [accessed 31 August 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Religious freedom for Myanmar's 500,000 ethnic Chins is being denied, says a new report by the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO).

"Chins continue to face religious persecution," Salai Za Uk Ling, programme director for CHRO, told IRIN. "Despite strong government reforms, these efforts have yet to be extended to religious freedom."

According to the 5 September report entitled Threats to our Existence: Persecution of Ethnic Chin Christians in Burma, the mainly Christian Chins are under pressure to convert to Buddhism as a result of state policy. The mountainous Chin State, in western Myanmar, is also one of the country's least developed regions.

"The government needs to recognize that a multi-ethnic Burma needs to be a multi-religious Burma," said Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch. "This is a challenge the government has to face." The 2012 US State Department's International Commission on Religious Freedom categorizes Myanmar as a country of "particular concern

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