Myanmar: Thousands Gather for Interfaith Rallies

YANGON — Religious leaders of Myanmar called for unity and peace as they gathered at the country’s first mass interfaith rally at Aung San Stadium in Yangon on Tuesday. It was the first major push for improved relations between followers of different faiths since an eruption of deadly violence in August inflamed communal tensions, especially between Buddhists and Muslims, and triggered an exodus of some 520,000 Muslims to Bangladesh.

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Myanmar: Interfaith rally invokes co-existence, chides international community’s criticism

Speaking at a mass interfaith gathering on Tuesday, the head of the Rangoon archdiocese denounced the international community’s criticism of Burma over the ongoing Arakan crisis and asked for international support as the country works to resolve the issues blighting its westernmost state.

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Myanmar’s Buddhist Leaders Must Take a Stand Against Ethnic Cleansing

In a public address on September 19, Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, saying she is “deeply concerned” about those caught in the conflict, but Myanmar’s government needs time to investigate “what the real problems are” in Rakhine state.

With hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing their homes in Myanmar, more than 110 Buddhist teachers and community leaders have signed a letter calling on Myanmar’s Buddhist leaders take action to end the crisis.

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Myanmar: Calls for Interfaith Dialogue to achieve Peace and Harmony

Myanmar National Security Advisor U Thaung Tun today called for interfaith dialogue to promote peace and harmony. Speaking at the Dialogue for Peace, Harmony, and Security currently underway in Yangon, the NSA advisor stated: “In a 2003 UN General Assembly resolution, the nations of the world affirmed that ‘inter-religious dialogue is an integral part of the efforts to translate shared values into action.”

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BURMA: Interfaith Prisoners of Conscience Pwint Phyu Latt & Zaw Zaw Latt Released

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed satisfaction that the government of Burma has released prisoners of conscience Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt. They were released along with more than 250 other prisoners Burma’s government freed as part of a presidential amnesty.

USCIRF Vice Chairman Daniel Mark, who has advocated on behalf of Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt, stated that he “welcomed this long-overdue step by Burma’s government. Pwint Phyu Latt and Zaw Zaw Latt, both Muslim, were wrongfully imprisoned for their interfaith activities. Although I welcome and applaud their release, the fact remains that they never should have been imprisoned in the first place. I hope their release signals a more positive trajectory for the freedom of religion or belief in Burma.”

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