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ICC Note: 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. 
7/4/2013 Burma (MNN) – July 4 in the U.S. is equated with freedom, liberty, and independence. America’s founders sought and fought for freedom from the British government’s oppression.
“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…. Nobly defend those rights which heaven gave and no man ought to take from us,” said John Hancock, the first man to sign the United States’ declaration of independence.
Among the founders’ reasons for breaking away and starting anew was the following: “[King George III] has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”
Similar mistreatment is taking place in Burma today.
“[The government is] in many ways complicit with the suffering of these people,” says Steve Gumaer of Partners Relief and Development.
Whereas America’s founders chose to leave Britain, Burma’s government is allowing ethnic people groups like the Rohingya to be forced out of their homes.

The Rohingyas that were pushed out of Sittwe, in particular–that’s 200,000 people–were forced to build shelters with grass and sticks and whatever they could find in this low-lying land that they were put on,” Gumaer explains.
Since Burma’s independence in 1948, the nation’s government has been in conflict with one ethnic minority group or another. Authorities’ current campaign against the mostly-Muslim Rohingya people began last June.
A year later, between 800,000 and 1 million Rohingya have been forced to live in substandard conditions near the Bay of Bengal coastline.

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