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Myanmar

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

 

Christians in Northwest Burma Cling to Faith Despite War, Persecution

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The Kachin people of Northern Burma are believed to be more than 90% Christian. For decades, they have been in a struggle for independence from the military dictatorship of Myanmar. As a part of that conflict, Christian Kachin have been targeted because of their faith. In the last major military assault, more than 60 churches were reportedly burned to the ground. As one observer points out in this article, Buddhist temples are left untouched. 

Deplorable Conditions for Kachin Christians in Northern Burma

Saturday, November 9th, 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.

Burmese Military Guilty of Crimes Against Kachin Christians

Friday, November 8th, 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.

Questions Raised Following Military’s Fatal Shooting of a Burmese Christian

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.

Church Leaders in Burma Make Rare Public Statement in Support of Religious Freedom

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. 

Renowned Human Rights and Religious Freedom Advocate Announces Her Bid for the Burmese Presidency in 2015

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Witnesses Report Villagers Hospitalized Following Vicious Beatings by a Burmese Military Official

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

The Signing of a Cease-fire Posits Hope of Reform in the Hearts of Burmese Christians

Friday, May 31st, 2013

Renewed Peace Talks in Burma Could Significantly Reduce Abuses Committed Against Burmese Christians

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Japanese PM Advocates’ Hopeful to Impose Religious Freedom Redlines to Curb Persecution in Burma

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

White House Welcomes Burmese President Despite Persecution Reports

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.

As Preemptive Euphoria Surrounds Burmese Reforms, Christian Persecution Remains A Contentious Issue

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

U.S. Hosts Burmese Head of State Despite Ongoing Abuses Against Burmese Christians

Monday, May 20th, 2013

New Report Details Grave Challenges Still Faced by Christians, Religious Minorities in Burma

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. 

Despite Suffering of Christians in Burma, EU Lifts Sanctions

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.”

European Union Urged to Uphold Religious Freedom in Burma Despite Lifting Sanctions

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.

Military Remains Strong Presence in Burma, Persecution Continues

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. 

Why is Burma Army Targeting Kachin Christians?

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.

Human Rights Organizations Make Major Push for Greater Ethnic Rights in Burma

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Churches Burned, Christian Civilians Killed Despite “Reforms” in Burma

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

A war between the Buddhist military of Burma and the Christian Kachin ethnic tribe has been going on for more than 50 years in the mountains of Northern Burma. A cease-fire held in place for 17 years until the summer of 2011, when the Burmese military renewed its offensive. Reports indicate that not only are civilians being killed and driven from their homes en masse, but religious discrimination directed against Christians is not uncommon. According to one report at least 66 churches have been burned by the attacking army, while Buddhist pagodas are left untouched. 

Christian Ethnic Group Remains Under Attack in Burma

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Scattered attacks against the Kachin ethnic group in Northern Burma, which is believed to be more than 98% Christian, continue despite claims that the president has ordered a cease fire. The conflict against the Kachin has a religious dimension: one recent report documented that the Burmese army, pre-dominantly Buddhist, had torched 66 churches in attacks on villages since the summer of 2011. Meanwhile the army leaves Buddhist pagoda's untouched. Tens of thousands of Kachin have fled their homes and sought refugee in camps and across the border in China. 

Burma Day of Prayer to be Held in London

Friday, March 8th, 2013

“At this year’s Global Day of Prayer for Burma we are able to give thanks for some very welcome changes in Burma – the release of significant numbers of political prisoners, increased space for freedom of expression, more freedom for civil society...Yet Burma continues to face many significant challenges, including grave violations of human rights...Burma needs our prayers, our advocacy and our support now more than ever, as the country stands at the crossroads of potential change for which its people have struggled for so long."

Sixty-six Churches Burned Down in Burma Since June 2011

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

In this shocking report a human rights organization working in Burma reveals that sixty-six churches have been burned down by the Burmese military since the beginning of a military offensive in June 2011. The Burmese military, which is made up completely of Buddhist troops, has been at war with the ethnic Kachin, who are over 90% Christian, for decades. A cease-fire between the groups ended when the Burmese military attacked again in June 2011. According to this article they have waged “unequal warfare” on Christian holy days and torched sixty-six churches in just a year and a half.  

Letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief Calls for End to Violence Against Christians in Burma

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

With a military offensive by the Buddhist Burmese army still underway against the pre-dominantly Christian Kachin ethnic group, European Parliamentarians have sent an urgent letter to the foreign policy chief of the EU calling for an end to the violence. Churches are being damaged and Christian civilians are being killed on a daily basis.  

Myanmar Military Ignores Ceasefire, Continues Attack Against Christian Kachin

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

 Even as Burma promises to continue making large political reforms and greatly increase freedoms within the country, the Burmese military is continuing an offensive against the ethnic Kachin people. The Kachin are mostly Christian (some estimates say more than 98%) and have been seeking independence from Burma for decades. Adding an element of persecution to the conflict is the tendency of the Burmese military to discriminate against the Kachin for their Christian faith.  

Christians Call for Peace in Burma

Friday, January 18th, 2013

The Burmese military has stepped up its offensive against the pre-dominantly Christian Kachin ethnic group living in the North of the country. Last week, a 76 year-old Christian pastor in Liaza was killed by artillery shelling. Catholic church leaders are calling for a resolution to the escalating conflict even as tens of thousands of refugees flee their villages.

Burma: 76 year-old Christian Pastor Killed in Artillery Strike

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The Burmese military, made up almost entirely of hardline Buddhist soldiers, has been conducting a military offensive against the Christian Kachin ethnic people of Burma for more than a year and a half. Over the last few weeks attacks have escalated with strikes by jets and attack helicopters. Two days ago the military hit Liaza, the headquarters of the Kachin  Independence Organization, with artillery shells, killing a 76 year-old pastor and a 15 year-old boy.

Prayer update: Christians Suffering in Burma

Monday, October 29th, 2012

“Despite the praise that Burma (Myanmar) has attracted this year for its recent reforms, the Christian minority there continues to be persecuted,” Barnabas Aid reports in this prayer update for Christians in Burma. According to a recent report, there have been more than 40 incidents of ill-treatment or torture, and 24 official complaints of religious freedom violations and other human rights abuses. “These include the intimidation and harassment of pastors and other Christian workers, sexual violence, forced labour, closure of churches and disruption of worship services,” reports Barnabas Aid.

Burma’s Suu Kyi urges minority rights

Friday, July 27th, 2012

“Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called for laws to protect the rights of ethnic minority groups in her first statement in parliament,” BBC reports. Included among the ethnic minorities are Hmong and Kachin Christians who have suffered from severe oppression and persecution for years.

Fleeing oppression in Burma; Member of Christian minority still fearful of returning

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Maung, a Kachin Christian, was granted asylum in the U.S. after fleeing northern Burma in 1998. Maung’s grandparents became Christians when a missionary came to their village in the early 1900s. Today, Christians in Burma face discrimination and persecution.

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ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.