Religious freedom

Minority religions

Rakhine Advisory Commission presents 30 recommendations

The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State yesterday presented almost 30 recommendations of action that the Myanmar government can take to immediately improve the situation on the ground in Rakhine as the commission released its interim report. Kofi Annan, Chair of the Advisory Commission, said the ...

MoE not responsible for religious content in textbooks

The Ministry of Education has responded to criticisms on social media that new civic education textbooks have included the four great religions – Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism – by denying it is responsible for the curriculum. “The texts books are not from our departments. ...

Myanmar, Malaysia agree over aid flotilla

The flotilla spat appears to have come to an agreeable end. Myanmar has permitted a group of Malaysian organisations to send aid earmarked for Rakhine State after an official permission request was forwarded to the president, and a delegation smoothed over the arrangements on January ...

Special rapporteur barred from Laiza, Hpakant

Just a few days into her fifth visit and the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has already encountered a few bumps in the road, with the government blocking her from going to Laiza and Hpakant, in Kachin State. Yanghee Lee and her ...

Malaysia calls for ASEAN to coordinate aid for Myanmar's Rohingya

Malaysia said on December 19 the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar was a regional concern and called for the Association of South East Asian Nations to coordinate humanitarian aid and investigate alleged atrocities committed against them. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman was speaking at a ...

Rakhine advisory commission gets to work with IDP camp visits

Torrential rain did not deter a crowd of well over 100 people turning out to witness Kofi Annan’s arrival in the Muslim ghetto of Aung Mingalar on September 7. In contrast to the protests that had greeted Mr Annan’s arrival in the Rakhine State capital of ...

Govt publishes data on populations of religious groups

According to the figures publicly launched by the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, on 21 July in the capital Naypyidaw, Buddhists constitute 87.9 percent of the country, Christians make up 6.2 percent, Muslims comprise 4.3 percent, animists are counted at 0.8 percent and Hindus are ...

Govt to release census data on religion

Data from Myanmar’s 2014 census on the populations of the country’s religious groups will be released this month, a ministry spokesperson has announced. Myint Kyaing, the permanent secretary within the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population, told The Irrawaddy on 12 July that the religious data will ...

Conservative Buddhists donate to Kachin IDPs

Hard-line nationalist Buddhist monk U Wirathu has revealed that his Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion, known as Ma Ba Tha, is providing aid to displaced Christians in war-ravaged Kachin State. Ma Ba Tha said it had donated K6 million for internally displaced persons ...

Spurred by Myanmar radicals, Thai Buddhists push for state religion status

A campaign to enshrine Buddhism as Thailand’s state religion has been galvanized by a radical Buddhist movement in neighboring Myanmar that is accused of stoking religious tension, the leader of the Thai bid said. Experts say the campaign could appeal to Thailand’s military junta, which is ...

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