Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Burma religious freedom law a threat to religious freedom, church warns

Burma’s proposed religious freedom law has drawn protests from Christian and civil society leaders, warning the bill submitted to Parliament by the government of Myanmar President  Thein Sein was a threat to religious liberty. Sponsored by the Buddhist nationalist group “Movement 969” the bill forbids the marriage of Buddhist women to non-Buddhist without state permission, and criminalizes Muslim and Christian proselytism of Buddhists. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the chairman of the opposition National League for Democracy, has criticized the bill saying it violates basic human rights. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Yangon, Mgr. Charles Maung Bo told the Fides News Agency he opposed the bill as it would “interfere with the individual right to choose one’s own religion.” The Anglican Church of Myanmar has not taken a formal stance on the proposed legislation, but a church source told the Church of England Newspaper the proposed law was part of a wider campaign of Burmese Buddhist nationalism that spelled trouble for the country’s religious and ethnic minorities.

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