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Burmese Buddhist campaign against religious minorities

The Burmese government have attempted to deflect attention from its political problems by fomenting religious strife among the people. Christians, which form a significant proportion of the ethnic Karen rebels, are still being targeted for repression. Men dressed as Buddhist monks (some witnesses believe these are not real monks but actually military agents) went on a mosque-destruction spree in 1997.

Christian Minsters on Trial www.karen.org 7/10/2000 article:

The Burmese military regime continues persecution of Chin Christians and the killing of innocent Chin villagers in Chin State in the Union of Burma. On June 13, 2000, Chin State authorities of the SPDC in Haka, the capital of Chin State, summoned Rev. Tin Hei, a pastor of the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) and ordered him to discontinue the construction of the UPC building on Cherry Street...

Similarly, on June 29, the SPDC officials in Kalemyo ordered the Agape Church of the Assembly of God in Pinlong Ward, Kalemyo in Sagaing Division to stop the construction of their church building. The church pastor, Rev. Go Za Nang, had obtained prior permission from the military authorities. The order was given without explanation.

REPORT ON THE SITUATION FOR MUSLIMS IN BURMA - FreeBurma individual first-hand accounts (May 1997):

On 26 March 1997 in Thuwana township in Rangoon, anti-Muslim pamphlets urging people to destroy Muslim homes and abuse Muslim women were distributed by an identified group of people...

In the February 1997 SLORC offensive against the Karen National Union (KNU), the SLORC attacked the Muslim community directly. SLORC soldiers razed mosques and destroyed copies of the Koran, ordered conversions to Buddhism, and drove Muslims out of Karen State...

There have also been confirmed reports of SLORC troops killing Muslims. In Kyo Ta village, SLORC soldiers blindfolded 2 male Muslim villagers and cut their necks. In Ti Dah Blu village, 2 Muslim villagers were also killed.

Myanmar Special Units Continue Ethnic Cleansing (TBH Online May 1999):

...Nearly all of the Karenni profess Christian faith while some 40 percent of the Karen are Christians. The others are mainly Buddhists and animists.

...The SPDC is forcing both Karenni and Karen to work as porters for SPDC troops, CSW says. Many die from overwork, malnutrition and disease, or are killed when they become too weak to work. Christian villagers are now being compelled to pay and work for the construction of Buddhist temples and fear that they will be forced, under threat of torture and death, to worship there once they are complete.

Links:

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation

Karen Human Rights Group