Main Religion in BurmaThe main religion in Burma
Burma's crises over the independence of religion | National Catholic journalist
Abuse of religion in Burma (also known as Myanmar), where Rohingya Muslims and Christians suffer horribly despite the country's small moves towards democratization. From the end of the Colonization, the position was never perfect for Christians and Muslims, as they were seen by many other people in Burma as instruments of Britain's colonization and the fact that Catholicism had been in Burma for 500 years was ignored.
Nevertheless, the post-colonial era began with the 1947 Panglong Agreement, which upheld the principle of equity and self-determination not only for Burma's majority Buddhists but also for various minority nationalities. There was a rapid deterioration in the position of Christians and Muslims with the 1962 army putsch that broke the Panglong Agreement.
During the five violent post-war years, the army took advantage of the country's rich variety to govern Burma through a division and conquest policy that played Buddhists, Christians and Muslims against each other. Everyone who opposed the army government, even Buddhaist friars, was treated sternly. A state ministry for religious affairs and a department for the promotion and dissemination of Sasana (Buddhist teachings) were established by the regimé.
Though the Ministry of Religious Affairs is the offical name of the agency, a more precise Burmese language is the" Buddhist Ministry of Mission". "While making Buddhism a state religion, the government practised discriminatory and tolerant force against Muslims and Christians through Ma Ba Tha and other ultra-nationalist Buddhist friars.
Since its inception in 1999, the U.S. Commission on International religious Freedom (USCIRF) has been recommending that Myanmar be considered a "country of special importance" and one of the most serious misusers of the right to free religion. The USCIRF issued the same recommendations every following year, and in any case the U.S. State Department has called Burma CPC.
Two USCIRF-reportings published this weeks document the abuse of religion in Burma. "Rachel Fleming's Hidden Plight" depicts the distress of conservative minority groups and "Suspended in Time" by Tina Mufford, USCIRF Sen. Polici...
Over the past few years Burma has tried to develop into a more democracy. However, there are still serious problems for worship and ethnical groups. Its best-known example is that of Burmese Rohingya Muslims. The Burmese regime and civil liberties are continuing to pursue this besieged majority, from the adoption of discriminating race-and-religion legislation to attacks by Tibetan Buddhists, under the idea that Burma should be "one country, one people, one religion".
" Rohingya Muslims, Rakhine Buddhists and other ethnic and religious groups have been severely deprived of fundamental freedoms throughout the state, among them insufficient availability of nutrition, housing, water, and healthcare; restricted mobility; Refusal of necessary humanitary assistance; restricted possibilities to receive training or make a livelihood; unheard-of violations of people' s freedoms leading to deaths, violations and expulsion; and, in the case of Rohingya Muslims, refusal of the right to be a citizen and citizens.
" Today tens of millions of Rohingya are destitute, shelterless, and fragile. USCIRF is also affected by the distress of Christians - shocking but to varying degrees. There are a number of areas where restraints on property for religion are almost out of the question, and it is almost not possible to publicly adore them. The forced Buddhist conviction is continuing, as is the violent repression of the church, often linked to long-standing ethnically hostilities with the Burmese army.
"Since the early 1990', the army strengthened its occupations of predominantly Christian Chin, Kachin and Naga areas by demolishing Churches and Crucifixes and at the same time developing the buddhistic infrastructures such as convents and couples, sometimes using the hard labour demanded of Christians," Fleming said. Briefly, the distress of both Rohingya Muslims and ethnical Christians results from the acts of consecutive regimes that have committed and accepted grave breaches of the right to religion.
This is a particularly serious problem as the shortage of sufficient supplies of vitamins is becoming acute and the risk of long-term damage, especially to the health of young people, is imminent. Burma will not become a safe, united, safe place as long as these injuries persist. It' s juncture for Burma to protect the right to religion and adopt its lighter, former view of a multi-religious, multi-ethnic community of union and toleranc.
It must at least end the persecutions and acts of force against Christians and Muslims.