The Aizawl Post
March 10, 2007
Aizawl: Chin Christians around the world has issued a joint statement yesterday condemning the Burmese military regime State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) for it’s systematic persecution against Chin Christians in Burma and urged the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to investigate violations of religious freedoms in Burma.
The statement was initiated by Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) and endorsed by Chin community around the world, including Chin Baptist Fellowship of America (CBFA) comprise with 13 Chin Churches in USA and Canada, Chin Churches in Australia along with Chin Christian Fellowship in Denmark, and Norway Chin Christian Fellowship.
Apart from Chin Churches around the world, there are several political and social organization that endorse the statement calling for the UN to investigate. Chin National Council comprise with major Chin political parties and several civil society organizations such as Chin Forum, Chin Freedom Coalition, Chin National Community in Japan, Chin Community in Norway, Chin Student Union in North America, Malaysia and India are also in the list among those who endorse the statement.
Burma’s ruling military government has an extraordinary record on rampant human rights violations. However, according to CHRO, persecution against Christian is a major concern in Chin state where 90% of Chins are Christians.
Burma is branded by the US Department of State as country of particular concern for religious persecution against minority religions such as Christian in the country.
During January and February this year a delegation of predominantly Christians from Burma; Chin and Kachin have launched advocacy campaign in European Union and the United States.
The delegation led by London based Christian Solidarity Worldwide comprised with Chin Human Rights Organization, Women League of Chinland, and Kachin Women Association. The mission was widely covered by several international media and applause by Chin community worldwide as milestone achievement for persecuted Christians in Burma.
The delegation has met with high profile government officials and several faith based rights organization in Europe and in the United States. The delegation had met with UK Minister of Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian McCartney MP, several MP from Britain and European Union, officials from German Foreign Affairs in Europe.
In the United States, the delegation have met with official from the White House, several senior officials from the US State Department Including Ambassador Hanford, Ambassador Reese, and Senior policy advisor to secretary of State, and several Senators including office of Republican Presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback and House of Representatives at the Congress including Congressman Joseph Pitt and office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“When the present Burmese military regime started militarization in Chin state since the early 1990s, the Chin Christians helplessly watch the crosses they have planted destroyed one by one and replaced by Buddhist pagodas where they were forced to contribute money, labor and construction materials” said Salai Bawi Lian Mang of Chin Human Rights Organization during a briefing organized by US Congressional Human Rights Caucus Task Force for International Religious Freedom at the Congress.
In January CSW launched a report entitled Carrying the Cross: The Military Regime’s Campaign of Restriction, Discrimination, and Persecution Against Christians in Burma. And in the following week an Early Day Motion was introduce in the British House of Commons urging the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to investigate violations of religious freedoms in Burma.
On March 10, the Day of Prayer for Burma will be held at St Michael’s Church, Chester Square, London where MP John Bercow will join and speak on the British government’s policy towards Burma.
In 2004 CHRO published “Religious Persecution: A Campaign of Ethnocide Against Chin Christian In Bumra”