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ICC Note: 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. 
4/2/13 Burma (MNN) – There’s a dichotomy in government actions in Burma.
On one hand, “They’re proceeding toward democracy, and so that is encouraging,” says Dyann Romeijn of Vision Beyond Borders.
But on the other, “They’re actually making more military outposts deeper into the Karen areas, the Karenni, and the Kachin.”
Burma’s military government has a long history of persecuting these people groups, a large portion of which follow Christ.
“There’s been an outright genocide…. They’re trying to wipe out these people,” says Romeijn. “You see an influx of more refugees and more people fleeing…because they’re scared of the military.”

Romeijn can’t tell whether recent developments will add to those democratic advances, or send Burma three steps back.
“It’s difficult to know for sure what they will do,” she says. “But in the past, the government has completely persecuted these people.”
In Burma and around the world, “The persecution of Christians is increasing.
“We just need to be praying for our brothers and sisters: for strength to be able to stand amid the persecution and be a witness and a light.”

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