Asia

Burma's Christians

The country's displaced minorities maintain their distinctive faith.

Since one of Adoniram Judson's first converts, the Karen evangelist Ko Tha Byu, introduced the gospel to his people group in the mid-nineteenth century, several ethnic minorities in Burma, also known as Myanmar, have become largely Protestant.

Even in Ko Tha Byu's day, the government—a monarchy—was hostile to non-Buddhists. The situation for minorities is desperate, as they face both extreme poverty and a destructive regime.

According to the U.S. Department of State, the country is mostly ethnic Burman, with a third of the population belonging to other ethnic groups. Most estimate that the Burmese population is 4% Christian (mostly Baptists and Catholics).

Within specific ethnic groups, however, the proportion can be much higher. Chin Duh Kam, pastor of Chin Baptist Mission Church, executive minister of Chin Baptist Fellowship of America, says the majority of Burmese Chin are Christian.

Those smaller groups have been displaced, with many Burmese remaining in the country even after ...

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