Help Stop The Violence, Myanmar Bishops Beg Aung San Suu Kyi

Published 27 January 2017  |  
Reuters
Ethnic Kachin people protest in front of the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok January 11, 2013.

Four bishops have met with Myanmar's leading political figure over the violence taking place in the north of the country. The Bishops visited Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the long-running conflict in which Christian groups are deeply involved.

Ethnic groups in Kachin and Shan states, including many Christians, have long been opposed to the government in Yangon and have wages a decades-long campaign for greater autonomy. Fighting has been intensifying since 2011 and since summer 2016 the Burmese military has engaged in airstrikes, even though a peace conference is scheduled for next month.

Many of the 1.7 million residents of Kachin State are Christians , though Myanmar is an overwhelmingly Buddhist country.

La Croix reports that the Bishops met with Suu Kyi for an hour. "We stressed how the fighting leads to more displaced people, insecurity and difficulty dispensing humanitarian assistance," said Bishop Raymond Gam.

Despite winning the Nobal Peace Prize, for her democracy campaigns and long periods of house arrest, Suu Kyi has come under attack since her release for not doing enough to relieve the oppression of minorities, especially the Rohingya people who have been described as the world's most persecuted people.

Human Rights Watch recently reported on Christians in Myanmar. The organisation detailed attacks on Baptists and Catholics. It says, "For many years, Kachin and Shan civil society organizations have documented unlawful killings, torture, rape, forced labour and other abuses committed by Burmese military forces against civilians in Northern Shan and Kachin States."

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