CHRO to meet with US officials on religious freedom
18 March 2013: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) is to hold a series of meetings with senators, congressmen and officials from US State Department in Washington DC this week.
CHRO members will provide testimonies and raise religious issues facing Chin Christians in Burma following their recent report entitled ‘Threats to Our Existence’: Persecution of Ethnic Chin Christians in Burma.
They will also meet with staff members from the Office of International Religious Freedom, and NGOs during their week-long advocacy trip to the US.
Last month, CHRO delegation briefed Thura Shwe Mann, the Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw, members of Burma (Myanmar) National Human Rights Commission and other officials in Naypyitaw and Rangoon on ongoing human rights violations in Chin State.
A report by CHRO documented destruction of at least four large Christian crosses under the new government of Burma, restrictions on construction of Christian buildings and churches, and a separate residential school programme where Chin children face coercion to convert to Buddhism.
As part of their last legs of advocacy trips to North America, the CHRO team is scheduled to meet with MPs from all parties, and representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency in Canada next week.
The delegation is also set to share their findings and issues of religious freedom in Burma with Chin churches and communities based in the US.
Separately, CHRO is also set to testify before the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights on state-sanctioned discrimination against the Chin on the basis of their religion and ethnicity on 19 March in Brussels, Belgium.