Govt urged to end violations against Chin Christians
21 January 2014: The Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) has called on the government of Burma to take necessary measures to stop discrimination against persons from religious minority backgrounds.
Its briefing paper released today highlighted violations of religious freedom against Chin Christians in Burma throughout 2013, calling on Thein Sein’s goverment to prioritize the issue in its reforms agenda.
Salai Bawi Pi, Country Coordinator at CHRO, said: “The main problem is that the government treats Buddhism as the de-facto State religion in the country. That seriously undermines religious freedom for Chin Christians.”
CHRO indicates that the government uses state resources for building Buddhist pagodas and monasteries while restrictions remain in place on construction of Christian infrastructure.
It censured the country’s high-ranking government officials including President Thein Sein and Speaker Thura Shwe Mann for imposing meetings on Sunday mornings, to clash with local church services.
According to CHRO, this disregard for local custom in predominantly Christian Chin State continues a decades-old pattern and violates the right to assemble for religious worship.
CHRO called on the government to guarantee freedom of religious worship and assembly for all religions, and to replace the Ministry of Religious Affairs with an independent and impartial religious affairs commission with a mandate to address issues of religious discrimination.#