Why are the Chin refugees?



Why are the Chin refugees?

They have no place to go. Reasons you can be classified as refugee include:
1. Ethnic Persecution. The Chin are a persecuted ethnic minority people group. The ruling military junta are Burmer.

2. Religion Persecution. The Chin are 98% Christian. The Burmer military is a violent variant of Buddhism.

3. Political Persecution. Chin were seen as threats by the Buddhist military junta who rules the country because they supported Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy candidate in the 1990 general election, which she won handily.

Instead of recognizing the results of the election, the military made her prisoner and began to go after those who had supported her. The Chin overwhelmingly did not support the military, so government began to kill their leaders/pastors, harass and intimidate the people with forced labor camps, rape, and beatings.

Many Baptist pastors were either killed and their bodies draped across the podiums of their churches to intimidate their congregations or they were sent off to labor camps. At that time, many Chin fled their country to India, Thailand and Malaysia.

The U.S. and other countries, through the UN, offered to take a certain number of Chin as political refugees. In the aftermath of 9/11, the resettlement stopped because there was some question as to whether the Chin had fought against their government, which was ground for denial from the U.S. However, the Chin were eventually granted exemption, and the resettlement to the United States has been going strong ever since.

In November 2010, Myanmar's ruling junta stated that its party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won 80% of the votes. This claim was widely disputed by pro-democracy opposition groups, asserting that the military regime engaged in rampant fraud to achieve its result. However, shortly after, the military authorities in Burma released the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, she was elected to Parliament, and she was able to leave the country for a visit to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

Aren't things changing in Burma so that they can just go back to their own country?

According to the US State Dept, the new leader Thein Sein, is definitely making some changes in order to attract economic development from the US, but it is still not a safe place for Chin. And our Chin community does not know anybody in Malaysia who has tried to go back that has made it back home alive. Most of the Chin in Lewisville are planning to become US citizens and then they hope it becomes safe enough that they can back to visit relatives. But they plan to remain in the US.