When the Burmese military overthrew Myanmar’s civilian government in February, the international community responded with swift condemnation of the Tatmadaw and vocal support for Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement. The preservation of democracy in Myanmar became a common theme of discussion, and analysts began speculating what the coup might mean for trade, the world economy, and international relations.
But amid all these concerns, another issue—one predating the coup by decades—bears focused attention as well. The protection of Myanmar’s many ethnic and religious minority groups, long persecuted by the Tatmadaw, is a critical matter and one that must rank high on the international community’s list of priorities. This report considers the history and future of Christians in the Kachin, Chin, Rohingya, Karen, Indian, and Chinese ethnic groups as well as those in Wa State and suggests several international policy stances with potential to improve their situation going forward.