Payday loansPayday Loans

Recent News

  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

  • Donate by Paypal or Credit Card

    Solution Graphics

    Click Amazon to Help ICRF

    amzn-ba100x70.gif (2357 bytes)

    Help ICRF with your donation

    Follow ICRF on Twitter

    Twitter Image

    Like Us on Facebook

    Facebook Image
    Burma Print
    Sunday, 05 June 2011 19:00
    Religious Freedom Ranking
    1 out of 5 stars: Serious Violations


    Burma (also known as: Myanmar)

    BurmaSince 1962 the country has been ruled by extremely oppressive authoritarian military regimes.  The government imposed serious restrictions and limitations on religious freedom.

    A 2008 nationwide referendum endorsed a new draft Constitution; however, there was no change in the government’s restraints on religious freedom. The government monitors all meetings, including those of religious organizations.  Permits must be obtained in order to hold public events. The government actively promotes Theravada Buddhism, while it is difficult for Christian and Islamic groups to receive government consent to repair places of worship or build new ones.  Restrictions against non-Buddhist religious groups have been common.  Adherence or conversion to Buddhism is an unwritten requirement for promotion to senior government and military ranks.  It is reported that all senior level officers of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the armed forces must be Buddhists.  Social tensions between the Buddhist majority and the Christian and Muslim minorities are prevalent. Burmese Muslims are not considered citizens, and the government imposes restrictions on their movement, employment and marriages.

    The country has a population of 50 million.  According to official statistics, 90 percent of the population practices Buddhism, 4 percent Christianity and 4 percent Islam.  A small Jewish community resides in Rangoon but has no local rabbi. Chinese ethnic minorities practice traditional Chinese religions. Traditional indigenous beliefs are practiced in rural village areas. Citizens of Indian origin practice Hinduism, Islam and Christianity.

    Although the regime treats religious freedom as a possible threat to national unity, government-recognized religions are allowed some freedom of worship. However, the Constitution prohibits the “abuse of religion for political purposes.” The law also criminalizes the “defamation” of religion for political reasons.  It forbids members of religious orders to run for public office.  A law enacted in March 2010 banned members of religious orders—including Buddhists, Christians and Hindus--from voting in upcoming elections and joining political parties.

    However, state-controlled media depicted government officials and family members as Buddhist monks. State-owned newspapers frequently featured front-page banner slogans quoting from Buddhist scriptures. The 1990 Sangha Organization Law banned any institution of Buddhist monks other than the nine state-recognized monastic orders.  Serious consequences such as defrocking and criminal penalties occur if this law is violated. The Ministry of Religious Affairs’ Department for the Perpetuation and Propagation of the Sasna supervises the government’s relations with Buddhist monks and schools. The state-funded International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University in Rangoon declared its purpose “to share the country’s knowledge of Buddhism with the people of the world.” Buddhist values are a part of the state-mandated curriculum in all government-run elementary schools.  It is optional that students attend Buddhist classes, but they are required to recite a traditional Buddhist prayer daily.
    Christian and Islamic texts and scripture remained censored since the 1960s. Six Muslims were arrested in December 2009 for passing out Islamic newsletters without approval.  Translation of the Bible into indigenous languages is illegal.  It is not required that religious organizations register with the government; however, they must get government permission in order to hold religious activities. The government discourages non-Buddhist proselytizing. It mandates that all citizens carry government-issued National Registration Cards (NRCs) that state a person’s religious affiliation and ethnicity.  Many ethnic and religious minorities have reported facing difficulties in getting NRCs.

    Government authorities often reject requests from people of Christian and Islamic faiths to hold gatherings to celebrate the traditional holidays. Muslims face restrictions on the number of people who can gather in one place. Mosques in Mandalay and Rangoon were not permitted to use loudspeakers for the Azan (call to prayer). The government claimed that it would disturb Buddhist monks. Christian and Islamic groups were discriminated against because the government restricted their educational activities, proselytizing and construction of churches and mosques.  It is reported that some Christian ministers were refused residency permits. Muslims, ethnic Chinese and Indians were required to receive permission from authorities in order to leave their hometowns. Muslims are not allowed to live in Gwa or Taungup in the state. It is illegal for newcomers who are Muslim to buy property or reside in Thandwe, Rakhine State.

    The government arrested and imprisoned politically active Buddhist monks in an effort to control the Buddhist clergy (Sangha). It tried unapproved monks for “activities inconsistent with and detrimental to Buddhism.” They were usually beaten and forced to do hard labor. They were not allowed to shave their heads and were provided food that was incompatible with the monastic code. The Thailand-based Assistance Association of Political Prisoners in Burma (AAPP) reported 252 imprisoned monks; many of them were arrested after the September 2007 peaceful pro-democracy presentations. AAPP also reported that security forces in retaliation for the monk-led demonstrations raided about 52 monasteries between September 26 and December 31, 2007.  

    Previous reports claim that Christians had to convert to Buddhism in order to attend school; however, there have been no current reports of physically coerced religious conversion.

    2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom on Burma

    Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 September 2011 14:07