Myanmar Christians forced to convert to Buddhism, claims rights group

Last Updated: Thu, Sep 06, 2012 05:50 hrs

Christian students from Myanmar's Chin ethnic minority have been forced to convert to Buddhism, a rights group has claimed.

According to the Chin Human Rights Organisation, students are being asked shave their heads and wear monastic robes.

"President Thein Sein's government claims that religious freedom is protected by law but in reality Buddhism is treated as the de facto state religion" News24 quoted Salai Ling, Programme Director of the CHRO, as saying.

The Chin is a mainly Christian group in the poor and remote west of the predominantly Buddhist country.

Rachel Fleming, another member of the group, said that Chin students are also frequently targeted for enrolment in schools run by Myanmar's military which convert them to Buddhism.

She also claimed that Christian students are beaten for failing to recite Buddhist scriptures, the report said.

Chin state, which borders India, is home to around 500 000 people.

According to rights groups tens of thousands have fled to India to escape army abuses under the former junta. (ANI)

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