Burma – Persecution in Refugee Camps
You’ve run away from home because it’s no longer safe. The refugee camp was supposed to provide protection, but now it’s under attack. So when you’re turned away at the border, you have no idea how you’ll escape the violence of your country. This is the situation for hundreds of thousands of refugees in Burma. The Burmese army continues making war on ethnic groups after three decades of violence.
“While there’s been 500,000 killed, it hasn’t been overnight. It’s been a slower type of genocide, so it doesn’t garner the media attention that the rest of the genocides tend to gather. But it’s occurring nonetheless,” Dyann Romeijn, a spokesperson for Vision Beyond Borders explains. The attacks are primarily against the Karen, Kachin, and Shan states of Burma.
According to Romeijn, over two million have been displaced from their villages, and 250,000 people have fled to refugee camps. These Internally Displaced People (IDPs) are not necessarily safe in the camps, however.
The fighting is not due to religion, or at least not primarily. It is a fight about ethnicity. It is important to note that over 90% of the Kachin people are Christian. Yet, the Buddhists and animists among them are persecuted as well.
In the midst of the situation in the camps, there appears to be hope. “The Gospel is rampant in the refugee camps,” Romeijn says. Continue to pray that these people will share the love they find in Christ with others, and that they’ll keep their eyes on Jesus through all trials.
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