In Myanmar, Christian Rebels Are in Double Trouble
ICC Note: The political situation in Burma is complex, but it is nonetheless very clear that ethnic minorities, including a large number of Christians (particularly among the Kachin, Chin and Karen) are suffering in the current internal conflict with the government of Myanmar. This report includes video which sheds more light on the issues.
By Vishal Arora
05/18/2015 Myanmar (World Watch Monitor)
In March the Myanmar government and 16 rebel groups signed a draft ceasefire agreement, ahead of national elections scheduled for November this year. The pact, however, doesn’t contain self-determination provisions that these ethnic groups have demanded.
Also known as Burma, Myanmar is made up of eight major and eight minor ethnic groups, each of which had hoped for autonomy after gaining independence following World War II. In 1947, the Panglong Agreement, advanced by Aung San, father of current opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, promised all ethnic minorities a place in a new union.
Five months later, Aung San was assassinated, triggering civil war and ethnic rebellion that continues by these groups to this day. Among them are ethnic groups who are majority Christian, including the Kachin and the Chin. Some, such as the Karen, have a sizeable Christian population.
The central Burmese government continues a campaign of oppression against ethnic minorities. Operation World, a Christian missionary organization, calls Myanmar “a deeply fractured nation on a political and especially ethnic level.”