Why Christians Should Care about Myanmar’s Persecution of Muslim Rohingyas

It is hard to miss the news that Myanmar has stepped up persecution of its Rohingya minority. The government’s recent efforts have led tens of thousands of Rohingya to seek refuge from poor nearby countries that don’t have the facilities or even the desire in some cases to handle an influx of refugees. The recent fighting has also led governments and Nobel Prize winners to denounce Myanmar’s actions as genocide.

The following are some compelling reasons why Christians should also care about what happens to a small group of Muslims in a faraway country.

As a number of Christian organizations have pointed out, Myanmar’s government isn’t just persecuting the Rohingya. While this group of people is currently being harassed far more than other minorities in the country, the fact is that Myanmar is well known for persecuting its Christian population as well.

Christians in Burma are discriminated against and forced to convert back to Buddhism. Atrocities committed against the Christian community by members of the army are not prosecuted. Churches are targeted and Christian pastors and leaders are targeted by militant Buddhists.

The status quo in this country is simply unacceptable and anyone who cares about religious freedom and basic human right should speak out against a government that clearly has no problem using torture, abuse and even genocide to wipe out people that it doesn’t like.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the radical Buddhism that has given rise to the genocide of the Muslim Rohingya isn’t just one the rise in Myanmar. A number of Buddhist nations are on Open Doors’ World Watch List, including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos and Bhutan. In Bhutan, Christians are routinely denied National Identity Cards, a fate eerily similar to the Rohingya who have been arbitrarily stripped of citizenship by Myanmar’s government.

Those who think that something similar could not happen in the west may want to give the matter second thought. As Open Doors accurately notes, one of the leading causes of persecution is hostility towards minority religious that engage in nontraditional practices.

While the overwhelming majority of Americans were Christians in times past, this is no longer the case. Religious non-affiliation is on the rise and Christians could very well be in the minority in the not too distant future. This is fast becoming reality in Europe and it is only a matter of time before it happens in the United States.

As history shows, those who do not speak out when the rights of others are trampled often won’t have anyone to speak out for them when it is their rights that are being trampled upon. That is why countries in which the majority persecutes smaller minorities should be held accountable. It does not matter if the government of these nations is communist, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim.

Furthermore, the race and religion of the persecuted individuals should not matter. What matters is upholding a basic standard of human rights; this is the only way to ensure that Christians around the world can live, work and worship in peace and safety.

Even so, the most compelling reason to care is because the Rohingya are fellow human beings, created in God’s image. God cares for them just as much as He cares for those who have already received His gift of salvation. Christians are called to love both neighbors and enemies and do everything possible to help them physically and spiritually by offering them God’s gift of salvation.

Thankfully, many Christian groups are doing just that, including Open Doors, Christian Aid and Mission to the World. While the Rohingyas are still overwhelmingly Muslim, a growing number of them are turning to faith in Christ.

Sadly, the world is becoming more fragmented and conflicted by the day. Minorities in any country are no longer safe; this is more obvious in some countries than in others but the fact is that small, non-dominant religions in most parts of the world face continual harassment and persecution. This is a disturbing trend that should concern Christians of all church background and walks of life.

Christians face serious problems in the same nations that persecute other minorities; calling for the recognition of basic human rights around the world helps to ensure that Christians worldwide can practice their faith in peace and it shows unbelievers that God cares about them, thus encouraging them to become interested in the Christian faith and all that it has to offer.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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