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ICC NOTE: Many in Myanmar are hopeful as the first democratically held elections in 25 years saw the changing of the guard so to speak. As a new party takes control it is important to note the military still holds 25% of parliamentary seats. The reason this is important is the fact it has been the military who have been merciless toward religious minorities in the country, especially ethnic Christian groups. There is hope according to a local Christian leader who believes change is possible if only the new government will take a stand against the military. According to Open Doors International, Myanmar is considered the 25th worst country for Christians to live in. 

11/13/2015 Myanmar (World Watch Monitor) – In Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, the National League for Democracy , has won a landslide victory in the first freely-contested election in 25 years, winning the needed two-thirds of the vote to enable it to nominate the country’s new President. Even though she herself  is barred from that role, Suu Kyi has made it clear she will be closely involved in running the government, though it’s not expected all its members will be announced till next February. She will have to negotiate very carefully with the military, who hold 25% of the seats in Parliament: these were not able to be contested in the election.

Her new government inherits many pressing issues, not least that of  the nation’s minorities, including the Rohingya Muslims, but also ethnic groups who are majority Christian, including the Kachin and Chin. Some, such as the Karen, have a sizeable Christian population.

The military government had continued 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”. The conflict zones span thousands of miles along the country’s borders. Some of the world’s longest-running civil wars continue here. These borderlands are where the majority of Burma’s Christians live.

Now Myanmar’s Christians are cautiously hopeful. In the video below, World Watch Monitor asked Burmese Christians what the election result will mean for them.

TRANSCRIPT

“This election is important for Christians because we have been under dictatorship for over 60 years,” Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, General Secretary of Kachin Baptist Convention, said.

“If we have a good government in Myanmar, Christians may have a chance to share the Gospel publically,” said Rev. Dr. Naing Thang, Director of the Religious Liberty Commission and President of the Reformation Theological Seminary.

“The 2008 Constitution indirectly mentions that Buddhism is the state religion,” Samson added.

(Full Article)