New CSW Report on Burma Highlights Dangers of Ethno-Religious Nationalism

May 21, 2019

The deadly impact of ethno-religious nationalism in Burma is the focus of an important new report from CSW, authored by Benedict Rogers, CSW East Asia Team Lead and Senior Fellow with RFI’s South and Southeast Asia Action Team.

Released at an event at the UK Parliament, the report aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the violations of religious freedom throughout the country. In extensive detail, the report examines the sources of intolerance, role of legislation, impact on Muslim and Christian communities, and response of the international community.

The situation is complex and there are overlapping questions of identity at play in nearly every scenario. As the report states, “In Burma, religion and ethnicity are intertwined and very difficult to separate. Many of the violations of freedom of religion or belief in Burma occur in the context of ethnic and political conflict.” (CSW, 6)

While there was hope for positive developments following the first credible democratic elections in 2015, in the three years since, “instead of democratisation, Burma has witnessed genocide and crimes against humanity.”

To prevent future conflicts and advance freedom of religion for all, these atrocities and sources of religious intolerance and hostility must be identified and addressed. This report contributes significantly to those efforts.

Read the full report: Burma’s Identity Crisis: How ethno-religious nationalism has led to religious intolerance, crimes against humanity and genocide

Blog post by Benedict Rogers: FoRB in Full: Burma’s identity crisis