Monday, April 16, 2018

USCIRF Issues New Report On Religious Freedom Challenges In Burma

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has recently issued an update on religious freedom challenges in Burma. (Full text of report).  The report, which particularly focuses on the conditions faced by Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State, also more broadly summarizes the situation in the country:
Successive governments in Burma have failed to ensure that all religious communities are able to practice their faith freely, openly, and without fear, and in some cases have directly perpetrated, tolerated, or ignored religious- and ethnic-based discrimination and abuses. Religious and ethnic minorities are disadvantaged by:
  • Institutionalized discrimination;
  • Increasing anti-Muslim sentiment and the related rise of Buddhist nationalism, which has affected all religious minorities;
  • A culture of impunity and lack of accountability for human rights abuses and crimes committed by military and nonstate actors; and
  • Decades of ethnic armed conflicts and internal displacement.
The deprivation of Rohingya Muslims’ rights became even more acute following 2012 communal violence in Rakhine State...