Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Despite promises from President Thein Sein that the government of Burma is pursuing peace with ethnic groups around the country, reports from the ground reveal that large scale attacks are still being conducted by the Burmese military on the pre-dominantly Christian Kachin ethnic group. "These are not attacks between two armies. They are the Burma army attacking civilian populations to remove them." said one representative of an organization working in Kachin State. The conflict between the Burmese military, which is dominated by nationalistic Buddhist officers, and the Christian Kachin, has long contained undertones of discrimination and religious persecution. Dozens of churches were burned to the ground by Burmese forces in the last major offensive from 2011 to early 2013.
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
The unresolved conflict between ethnic groups and government forces in Myanmar is forcing Kachin Christians to live in deplorable conditions as refugees and to be targeted as victims of religious persecution.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
Despite improvements in the political climate of Myanmar, the army continues to trample the rights of Christian Kachins, raising concern over whether the U.S. should be acting on plans to resume links with the Burmese military.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
In the following opinion editorial Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, a leading campaigner for international religious freedom, and Congressman Jim McGovern, co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, warn of the dangers of the United States developing a quick relationship with Burma's military. The article correctly points out, and ICC sources confirm, that major human rights abuses in the country have not ceased despite a nominal transition to a civilian government. Ethnic groups such as the Chin, Kachin, and Karen, who are pre-dominantly Christian and have spent more than 50 years fighting the Burmese military, see very little improvement in the religious discrimination demonstrated by the Buddhist dominated Burmese army. In the last offensive between Burmese forces in the Kachin, from the summer of 2011 until January of this year, sources reported that more than 60 Christian churches were burned to the ground by Burmese troops.
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
While conditions have improved dramatically for Christians living in what was for many decades one of the world's most challenging nations, there remain serious human rights and religious freedom issues in Burma today. In this latest report from Kachin State in the North, where more than 90% of the population is Christian, sources say more than 50 Kachin villagers are being held as "human shields" by Burmese forces. The news comes despite recent reports that fighting in the area between the Kachin and the Buddhist military has decreased dramatically. The conflict in Burma, currently considered the longest running civil war in history, has in the past taken on overtones of religious discrimination and hostility. The last flair up in violence in Kachin State starting back in 2011 saw more than 60 churches burned by the Burmese military.
Saturday, October 12th, 2013
Despite tremendous changes taking place in Burma over the past three years, serious human rights issues, including many revolving around religious freedom, remain. ICC partners in the country report that although things are now much easier for many Christians and churches operating inside the country, the threat of warfare between predominantly Christian ethnic groups and the Buddhist military is still very real. In the past the civil war within Burma has seen Christians routinely discriminated against for their faith, which is seen as a threat to the governments control.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
John L. Allen Jr is author of The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution. In this contribution to The Spectator magazine, Allen poignantly described the atrocities and discrimination visited upon Christians across the world, and the lack of journalistic interest in telling those stories.
Monday, September 23rd, 2013
Although a ceasefire was signed in May, Burmese army operations have continued in the North of Burma (Myanmar). This report details a a recent incident of rape by Burmese soldiers. The incident took place in Kachin State, which is inhabited by the pre-dominantly Christian Kachin ethnic group. Burmese forces are however filled with Buddhist's, including some radical nationalistic Buddhist officers, and the conflict often takes on religious undertones. During the last major offensive by Burmese troops from the summer of 2011 through January 2013 dozens of churches were burned to the ground by Burmese troops.
Thursday, August 15th, 2013
The Kachin ethnic people of Burma, who are estimated to be 98% Christian and reside mostly in the Northeast of the country, have long been discriminated against and at war with the predominantly Buddhist military of Burma. The war has led to thousands of Kachin refugees and dozens of burned down churches. Recently a United Nations human rights envoy was blocked by Burmese authorities from traveling to visit the headquarters of the Kachin, a sign that Burma's new openness has its limits.
Thursday, July 25th, 2013
Burma has undergone tremendous changes since the election of a civilian government in 2010. The president, Thein Sein, has introduced numerous reforms to a nation that was run by a severe military government for decades. Political prisoners have been set free, restrictions on the press have been lifted, and foreign governments have ended bans on doing business with the country. Nevertheless religious freedom remains distant for many in Myanmar, including the Chin ethnic group, who are predominantly Christian. Representatives of the Chin recently met with the European Union for the first time to detail ongoing human rights violations and discrimination against them by the Burmese government.
Sunday, July 14th, 2013
Although conditions for Christians in Burma have improved in general over the past few years, grave violations of human rights remain. The Kachin, an ethnic minority based in the North of Burma and over 90% Christian, continues to face intermittent attacks at the hands of the pre-dominantly Buddhist military. Restrictions also remain on the expression of religious beliefs and social hostilities towards Christians in some parts of the country are high.
Friday, July 5th, 2013
Although this particular article does not go into detail on the struggles that Christian ethnic groups in Burma have faced, it does provide a reminder that many millions in Burma continue to struggle for the freedoms that we have in the United States. For more than half a century the Burmese government has suppressed and persecuted predominantly Christian ethnic groups such as the Karen, Chin and Kachin.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
New reports detail continued violence in Burma's northern, primarily ethnic minority Christian Kachin State, despite a ceasefire agreement between Kachin State and rebel force representatives and the Burmese Military on May 30th. Witnesses report 45 year-old, Kachin-native Zahkung Lum Hkawng was tortured and beaten by military members before being fatally shot on June 14th. As the International Community continues to celebrate minor political reforms made by the "former" Pariah state, human rights and religious freedom advocates continue to criticize the Burmese state for its inability to stunt the military's gross human rights and religious freedom abuses.
Friday, June 28th, 2013
The Kachin ethnic group which resides primarily in Northern Burma and is more than 90% Christian continues to be struck by tragedy as the Burmese military raids villages and murders Kachin civilians. The recent murders being reported in the article below come despite a recent peace agreement between the Christian Kachin and the predominantly Buddhist Burmese military. Burma (Myanmar) has been in a nearly constant state of war with various ethnic groups such as the Kachin, Chin, and Karen for more than five decades as these groups seek independence. Discrimination and persecution against Christian members of the ethnic groups has been a consistent element in the conflict.
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
Although the conflict between Burma and it's major ethnic groups, such as the Chin, Kachin, and Karen, cannot be described in completely religious terms, it has for more than 60 years pitted a largely hard-line Buddhist military against predominately Christian minorities. Religious discrimination and persecution on the basis of that faith has resulted countless times. In the most recent clash between the Buddhist military and the Kachin from the summer of 2011 until January of 2013 at least 66 churches were razed to the ground by Burmese troops. These decades of conflict have left millions of Christians and non-Christian refugees without homes, schools, farms and many other basic building blocks of society. ICC continues to support these refugees through various programs, including missions teams and orphanages.
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
In a rare public statement Catholic Bishops in Burma have called on the government to protect religious rights to a greater extent as violence between Buddhist and Muslims continues. The violence, in which Rohingya Muslims have largely been slaughtered by the Buddhist majority, has led to serious concern over the administration of Thein Sein's willingness to address blatant religious discrimination. In addition the Kachin Christians of Northern Burma continue to fear renewed assaults by Burma's overwhelmingly Buddhist military.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Burmese President Thein Sein was warmly welcomed by President Barack Obama to the White House on Monday even as reports of ‘severe’ human rights abuses, including persecution of Christian ethnic groups, continue to emerge. The historic visit was the first in almost fifty years by a national Burmese leader and came as a result of major political reforms made by President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian administration to a government dominated for more than five decades by a military junta.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
Although Burma has moved away from a military controlled dictatorship in recent years and opened up the country in many ways, including greater freedom of the press and the release of hundreds of political prisoners, "grave challenges" remain for Christians and other religious minorities across the country. In a new in-depth report Christian Solidarity Worldwide reveals some of the most horrific human rights violations, including torture of Christians Kachin's, yet recorded in the country.
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
“We strongly urge the European Union to reconsider lifting economic sanctions on Burma until far more concrete steps have been taken to address blatant discrimination against religious minorities by the government, civilians, and the military. It appears that religious discrimination, which was institutionalized for more than half a century in Burma, remains endemic as well as pervasive. This can clearly be seen not only by the recent appalling violence against the Rohingya Muslim community but by the voluminous reports of ill-treatment of the country’s ethnic Christian communities, including the Karen, Chin, and Kachin.”
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
The European Union has decided to lift economic sanctions against Burma (also known as Myanmar) despite ongoing conflicts in several parts of the country. At least one of those conflicts has dramatically affected the Kachin people of Northern Burma, who are overwhelmingly Christian. Reports to ICC indicate that the Burmese military continues to target churches for destruction as it advances through formerly Kachin territory.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
With a change to democratic government two years ago many hoped that Burma was slowly opening to the outside world and that religious freedoms would soon follow. Although many advances have been made, the military, which is made up almost entirely of Buddhist nationalists, is still a powerful force in Burma and has continued to advance on territory held by predominantly Christian ethnic groups. In Northern Burma the military has burned dozens of churches while pushing back the Kachin people. Buddhist religious buildings are meanwhile left untouched.
Saturday, March 30th, 2013
The Burma army has finally allowed the United Nations to provide humanitarian aid to the tens of thousands of displaced people, mostly Christian, in the war-torn Kachin state. It has also held peace talks with Kachin rebels. But one thing the federal government is not willing to do is stop military attacks.