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ICC Note: Could Thailand be on the path to becoming a Buddhist nation, officially? The following editorial raises troubling concerns about the potential for religious freedom to diminish in the southeast Asian nation where more radical forms of Buddhism seem to be gaining a stronger voice. Exhibit A includes a radical Buddhist organization called Ma Ba Tha receiving an award in Thailand for promoting peace. In reality Ma Ba Tha carries a notorious reputation for persecuting Muslim Rohingya and promoting anti-Muslim discriminatory policies. Ma Ba Tha leader Ashin Wirathu has been previously dubbed the “bin Laden of Buddhism.” Where religious extremism flourishes, Christians tend to suffer, so if Thailand goes down a radical Buddhist direction, the Christian minority in the country could feel the squeeze.

By Sanitsuda Ekachai

3/23/16 Bangkok, Thailand (Bangkok Post) – Ma Ba Tha is known across the world as a racist Buddhist organisation. Its work fans the flames of hatred and violence against Muslims in Myanmar, particularly the Rohingya in Rakhine State. Its most prominent…

Last month, Ma Ba Tha, or the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion, received an award in Thailand for being an “outstanding Buddhist peace” organisation. The firebrand monk attended the…

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