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Burma Continues Rights Abuse on Ethnic Chin Christians Amid Food Crisis

ICC Note:

Please pray for the Christian Chin people in Burma as their persecution has been worsened by a food crisis that the government has refused to address.

9/17/09 Burma (ChristianPost) Many ethnic Burmese Chin Christians, who are the main inhabitants of Chin state, have fled to the neighbouring countries due to continued persecutions. The Christians, who have had suffered enough under the military regime had to deal with a rare phenomenon of rat infestation of crops since 2007, causing the food crisis in the state.

Chin Christians claimed that the military regime knew of the impending food crisis that happens once in half a centry, but “took no action” unlike the Indian government who dealt with the same phenomenon in the neihbouring India state of Mizoram and Manipur.

The reported titled, “On the Edge of Survival: Continuing Rat Infestation and Food Crisis,” published Thursday by Canada-based Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) said that the food shortages, which began in 2007 have spread to seven townships in Chin State and parts of neighboring Sagaing Division with as much as 80 percent of the farmlands destroyed by rats in some areas affected by rat infestation.

“Through utter neglect and continuing practices of human rights abuse, the military regime has turned this natural disaster into a man-made catrastrophe,” says Salai Bawi Lian Mang, Executive Director of Chin Human Rights Organization.

Myanmar, the new name for Burma until the junta change it in 1989 is ranked No.24 by Open Doors 2009 Watch List of the top 50 nations that are worst persecutors of Christians. Myanmar has been under the junta since the infamous military coup in 1962.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organization specialized in religious freedom around the world in a secret visit to the Burma-Thailand border in May this year said there is rampant violation of human rights and restriction of religious freedom especially those of the minority Christians. It was very similar to the report of CHRO on ethnic Chin Christians.

The CSW report also uncovered forced labour, rape, torture, the destruction of villages, crops and livestock, and the use of human minesweepers at the hands of the military regime are common in states dominated by ethnic minorities like Chin, Kachin, Karen and Karenni – who are majority Christians.

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