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Myanmar: Christians not suppressed
Military government rubbishes report that it kills members of the minority group.
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2007 11:45 GMT
Nearly 90 per cent of Myanmar's population is Buddhist while Christians make up 5 per cent
Myanmar has denied accusations that it persecutes minority Christians, saying the country guarantees religious freedom for all.
 
The military government was responding to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a London-based group, which accused it of using "a range of tactics" to suppress Christians.
The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said, quoting a statement from the Yangon Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), said: "It is evident that all the religious and the ethnic minority groups in Myanmar have experienced the freedom of worship and the right to express their faiths."
Christian Solidarity Worldwide said Myanmar's tactics ranged "from churches in Yangon finding it difficult to obtain permission to renovate their buildings to pastors in Chin State [in western Myanmar] being killed".
 
But the state run newspaper said the report was part of ongoing efforts by the US to slander the South-East Asian nation.
 
"The United States has been making accusations against Myanmar while allowing its follower organisations and stooges to distribute wrong data and facts concerning Myanmar's religious affairs," the daily said.
 
Myanmar, which has been ruled by the military since 1962, is a predominantly Buddhist nation of some 55 million people.
 
Buddhists account for 89 per cent of the population, while Christians make up 5 per cent and Muslims 3 per cent, according to official figures.
 
The US issued a report last year accusing the government of infiltrating religious groups' meetings, preventing Buddhist clergy from teaching about human rights and limiting the repair of Christian and Muslim places of worship.
Source:
Agencies
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