The Religious Liberty Partnership denounces “the gross violation of human rights and religious freedom”. Around 700 people have been killed and over 3,000 arrested since February.
In a public statement, the Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP), an international coalition of Christian organisations, condemns the military coup of last February in Myanmar and expresses “deep concern about the suppression on any perceived threat to their power, including religious communities and religious leaders”.
According to Floyd Brobbel, CEO of Voice of the Martyrs Canada and newly named Chairman of the RLP, “this statement reflects our collective call for action, anticipating that law and order and good governance will be restored and maintained”.
“We watched with uneasiness the gross violation of human rights and freedoms ensuing from the military-led coup and wanted to express our concern with the deterioration of religious freedom or belief in Myanmar”, he adds.
Since 1 February, around 700 civilians have been killed and over 3,000 arrested by the military government, “in the flagrant misuse of power in the country”, denounces RLP.
The entity has “several reports of Christian and Buddhist places of worship being raided allegedly to clamp down on illegal activities or anti-coup activists”.
“In February, Myanmar security officials raided the Hakha Baptist Church in Chin state and arrested the pastor; in early March, four Baptist ministers and six congregants were arrested at a church in Lashio; also in March, Tatmadaw soldiers fatally shot a 25-year-old pastor in Kalay”, points out the statement.
The RLP applauds the efforts of the National Unity Government (UNG) “to envision a new future for the country, with a secular constitution and equal rights for all peoples of every religion and ethnicity” and asks the international community to recognise the NUG as the legitimate representatives of the people of Myanmar.
They call on them to “lead efforts for a global arms embargo against the military and impose further targeted sanctions against them and military-owned enterprises”.
Furthermore, the coalition urges the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council to “escalate and intensify high-level diplomatic efforts to end the crisis and restore democracy in Myanmar”.
Floyd Brobbel also encourages “the global church to pray that all citizens of Myanmar enjoy the freedom to worship openly, without abuse, and that their human rights are protected and enhanced”.
“We pray for a new dawn for Myanmar, a new and genuine federal democracy, respect for human rights for all, and a path of real justice, true and lasting peace and lasting reconciliation”.
The RLP coalition “describes itself as a collaborative effort of Christian organisations from every continent focused on religious liberty for all”.
The Religious Liberty Comission of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs and International Christian Concern are some of the many organisations that make up RLP.
“The RLP statement on Myanmar, has many signers from organisations in Europe and North America, but also from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific, reflecting that geographical diversity and demonstrating the breadth of international support for the people of Myanmar and their human rights”, concludes O’Connell.
You can read the full statement here.
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