Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/23/2013 (3 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In Myanmar, Buddhism is infused with nationalism.

Followers of news events in Asia are well aware that Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a hotbed of religious strife between Buddhists and Muslims. However, it is less well-known that Christians are also subject to religious persecution in the strife-ridden country.

A Buddhist mob in Myanmar caught attacking a Christian enclave.

A Buddhist mob in Myanmar caught attacking a Christian enclave.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/23/2013 (3 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Myanmar, Buddhism, oppression, Christianity, Islam, threat, violence


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A story in UCANews tells about Naing Ki, a citizen of Myanmar who is being increasingly marginalized because of his conversion to Baptist Christianity. The persecution of Christians in the primarily Buddhist state is common and Christian minorities in some places, particularly in rural villages, is intense.

Naing Ki told UCAN that brick were thrown at his house, how he is denied the right to trade with local merchants and must drive for three hours once every few weeks to obtain food and supplies for his family. Next year, he won't even be counted in the national census, which means he won't even be considered an actual citizen.

All because he is a Christian.

These developments are a bit baffling to those familiar with the basic tenets of Buddhism which stress non-violence and acceptance, but in Myanmar the religion is tempered with nationalism and in the face of aggressive outside threats, such as Islam, the native Buddhists have become hostile.

It's hard to blame them. The Muslims have arrived, bringing with them terrorism and violence as their preferred tactic for forcing conversions in the border regions where they have become dominant. With the mainstream of the nation still Buddhist, but fearing attack, it's natural for them to retaliate against outside influences.

It's also a convenient distraction from the dysfunctions of government as the state feebly struggles on the path to democracy.

Christians are hardly militant, but they tend to segregate rather than assimilate. The Baptists have made inroads into the rural state of Chin, where Naing Ki lives and the Buddhists there feel very threatened by their presence. The end result is a segregated society where Christians form enclaves and Buddhists form theirs, and any dispute between the two different persons immediately becomes the spark for religious conflict.

In Naing Ki's case, he is the only Christian in a small rural village of Buddhists.

It doesn't help that outside aid is banned and the government gives tacit approval to the persecution of religious minorities. According to UCAN, Christian children are often enrolled in free public education and forced to participate in daily Buddhist rituals.

As Myanmar prepares to take its census and plans to discount those who aren't Buddhist, millions of people could lose their citizenship and become stateless people, all because they are of a different religious persuasion.

Cut off from outside aid and domestic support, these people will be forced to turn to one another, which could give rise to intense, militant movements and outside intervention. If Myanmar is looking to transition into a fully-fledged, peaceful democracy, it is making the wrong move.



---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

China's price for progress: One fifth of its soil found contaminated Watch

Image of China's rapid industrialization is feared to be causing irreparable damage to its environment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China leap into an economic powerhouse has come at a very heavy price. A recent study has found that a fifth of China's soil is contaminated. According to an official study released by the government, 16.1 percent of China's soil and 19.4 percent of its arable ... continue reading


SELF TORTURE: Disregarding church, Filipino faithful flagellate themselves in bloody ritual Watch

Image of The penitents in San Fernando whip their backs as they make their way along narrow roads which lead to a dusty hill.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Their practices are not condoned by the Catholic Church - who says it takes away from the real meaning behind Lent. Regardless, Filipino men don hoods to conceal their faces, remove their shirts and whip themselves raw in city streets in atonement. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Baby born with headless twin, four hands, recovering after surgery Watch

Image of The conjoined twins weighed just over three kilograms before surgery, with the removed parasitic fetus weighing 0.6kg.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 13-day-old baby boy now has a greater chance at a normal life after doctors have removed superfluous limbs from him. Now in stable condition, the child was born with a headless, parasitic twin. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The child was born with four ... continue reading


DON'T READ THIS if you're squeamish Watch

Image of Both men had been married with children. Their wives reportedly left them before being detained by police three years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Don't read this following article if you are in any squeamish or delicate in nature. We mean it. Two Brothers in Pakistan have been arrested for cannibalism after a young boy's head was found in their squalid home. The two had run into trouble with the law ... continue reading


Indian slums switch to solar powered lamps Watch

Image of Many poor urban communities in India are forced to live by candlelight. Slum tenants also use polluting fuels like kerosene, or

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the slums of New Delhi, India, where starvation, disease and filth run rampant, a most extraordinary thing is happening. The poor here are being given solar lamps in order to use cleaner energy. The smoke from kerosene lamps, in addition to wood burning ... continue reading


Tantalizing clues persist in Flight 370 mystery as searchers dive deep Watch

Image of The Bluefin 21 submersible will scan the seafloor for any signs of wreckage. Each mission will take about 24 hours to complete and another day will be needed to prepare Bluefin for a second mission. The search could take weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

International search efforts for Malaysia Air Flight 370 continue in the Indian Ocean, over a thousand miles off the coast of Perth Australia. Although investigators believe the batteries that power the data recorders are likely dead, other tantalizing clues about the ... continue reading


Chinese seek out Christ on Internet - over Chairman Mao Watch

Image of A search for the term referring to unregistered Christian organizations in China produces a blank search page with a notice reading,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, has revealed a highly interesting fact. As the Chinese Communist Party rigorously censors any mention of any potential religious influence, such as Islam, Tibetan Buddhism and Christianity, it comes as a surprise that ... continue reading


Ukraine instability raises fear of gas shortages in Europe Watch

Image of Gazprom says that it could demand advance payments from Kiev for gas this week. President Putin says Gazprom should hold off, pending talks with

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Russia's "theft" of Crimea has brought international condemnation, fears of a new cold war and made Ukraine highly nervous of a military takeover. In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned European leaders that Ukraine's failure to pay for ... continue reading


Auto sales in China increase by nine percent Watch

Image of Passenger vehicle sales in China have risen nine percent year-on-year for the month of March.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a sign of China's growing middle class - in addition to trying to beat the clock before new regulations go into effect. Passenger vehicle sales in China have risen nine percent year-on-year for the month of March. The sudden surge is driven by delayed new ... continue reading


Running dry: Pakistan is running out of water Watch

Image of The World Resources Institute late last year ranked Pakistan among the 36 most water-stressed countries in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lack of planning coupled with lack of rainfall is pushing Pakistan into a very precarious corner. With only 30 days of water in reserve, the Southeast Asian nation's agriculture, industry and hydropower are at grave risk. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 10:34, 37-43
34 Then Peter addressed them, 'I now really ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh for he is good, for ... Read More

Gospel, John 20:1-9
1 It was very early on the first day of the week and ... Read More

Reading 2, Colossians 3:1-4
1 Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 20th, 2014 Image

St. Marian
April 20: When St. Mamertinus was Abbot of the monastery which St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter