Religion


Members of both Arakanese Buddhist and Rohingya Muslim communities have objected to referring to Rohingya as “the Muslim community in Arakan State,” as used by Burma’s representative at the 32nd regular session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.

(more…)

Foreign observers of Myanmar’s changing social and cultural landscape have watched with great concern the flood tide of religious nationalism as conservative and radical Buddhist groups have expressed fears of a Muslim spiritual and social invasion that they have perceived to threaten their religious views. Coming from religious organizations such as Ma Ba Tha and the Myanmar Patriotic Monks Union, they seem to have had wide popular support, or at least popular acquiescence, for who can publicly disagree with the pronouncements of eminent members of the sangha? The legislature has passed laws intended to prevent this perceived disease from spreading. To those addicted to democratic traditions and open societies, this is illustrative of very disquieting development, even as right-wing nationalistic groups gain prominence in many Western societies.

(more…)

For hundreds of years, monks have provided a valuable service to Myanmar’s poor, with the country’s monastic education schools granting those from underprivileged families of all religions an education they would normally be unable to afford.

(more…)

Khin Yi, a central executive committee member and spokesperson for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has denied speculation that his party used the Association for Protection of Race and Religion—an association of nationalist monks better known by its Burmese acronym Ma Ba Tha—for its own political gain.

(more…)

A leading member of Burma’s most prominent Buddhist nationalist organisation has spoken out against an anti-Rohingya protest that took place in the central Burmese town of Pakokku in Magwe Division on Monday.

(more…)

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi has a moral responsibility to try to ease tension between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims, her fellow Nobel laureate, the Dalai Lama, said on Monday.

(more…)

Fissures have appeared within the Buddhist extremist organization Ma Ba Tha, after two senior members of the monk-run, anti-Muslim organization traded barbs on social media over the weekend.

(more…)

Some 50 Muslim lawyers from across Burma have banded together to form the Myanmar National Muslim Lawyers Association, which they say will help promote equality, freedom and fairness.

(more…)

A Senior Buddhist monk, Parmaukkha, a member of the central committee of the powerful ultranationalist Buddhist monk organization Ma Ba Tha, has stepped down over political differences with the group, RFA reported on 7 June.

(more…)

Buddhist extremist group Ma Ba Tha issued a statement Sunday in support of nationalist provocateur Nay Myo Wai, who is under arrest and facing trial for allegedly defaming Burma’s president, state counselor and army commander-in-chief on social media.

(more…)

Over a thousand hardline Buddhists gathered at a monastery in Yangon’s Insein Township for the annual summit of their ultra-nationalist group on Saturday, as the anti-Muslim network looks to stay relevant under Myanmar’s new civilian leadership.

(more…)

The state’s top Buddhist authority has said it will rein in the activities of hard-line nationalist monks participating in the Committee for the Protection of Nationality and Religion – also known as Ma Ba Tha.

(more…)

Buddhist monks of the nationalist Ma-Ba-Tha movement have opened a private high school on the outskirts of Rangoon this week, where they said they will provide free education for children and teach them to “protect race and religion” of Burma.

(more…)

Sensitive data held back from the 2014 nationwide census results for over a year will be revealed by August, government officials told The Myanmar Times.

(more…)

In what it has called an assault on press freedom, Burmese news agency Myanmar Cable News has publicly condemned the Myanmar Patriotic Monks Union, one of several hardline Buddhist nationalist groups in Burma, for allegedly obstructing and intimidating one of its junior reporters.

(more…)

Nationalist Buddhist monks from Ma Ba Tha are holding large-scale religious conversion ceremonies in Muslim enclaves, drawing criticism from local residents.

(more…)

A court in Irrawaddy Division’s Kangyidaunt Township on Thursday accepted a lawsuit filed against ultra-nationalist politician Nay Myo Wai for allegedly defaming the president, army chief and state counselor on social media.

(more…)

A Law to protect religious harmony is being considered by the new government following failed attempts to pass such a bill in the previous parliament, which instead enacted controversial legislation seen as undermining religious freedoms.

(more…)

A court in Pyin Oo Lwin District on Thursday dropped the remaining charges against U Eindaka, the abbot of the Yay Pu Monastery in Mandalay Division’s Mogok Township, after the lawsuit against him was withdrawn.

(more…)

Signs of a vibrant Hindu community are everywhere in downtown Yangon; ornate temples peer out from between the tenements, and periodic festivals enliven the streets with rhythmic music, colourful costumes and offerings of sweet masala chai. With their roots in several waves of Indian migration during the British colonial era, Myanmar’s Hindus are thoroughly a part of the country’s intricate cultural fabric.

(more…)

Next Page »