Chin Christians Escape Persecution in Myanmar; Resettle in Texas
Lewisville, TEXAS -
Nestled in Lewisville is a community of almost 4,000 people from the Chin State of Myanmar. Coming as refugees, this population has been persecuted and abused due to their race and religion. Today, this population represents one of the largest minority groups in the city and Chin is the third most spoken language in Lewisville ISD. While they have come for a better life, obtaining it has had its share of trials.
Persecution in Myanmar
These events for the Chin population date to 1948 when Myanmar, formerly Burma, broke away from the colonial rule of Great Britain. After 14 years, a military coup ensued and led to almost 50 years of rule by a military junta, according to BBC. Between 1962 and 2011, when they ruled, this regime was notorious for suppressing dissent from the public and committed human rights abuses against those not in the ethnic or religious majority.
Myanmar is a Buddhist majority nation. While constitutionally they allow religious freedom, there are exceptions that allow the suppression of minority religions. Missionaries came to the region roughly 100 years ago and converted the Chin from mostly Animism, a belief where all beings and objects have a spiritual essence, to Christianity. About 98 percent of them now practice Christianity according to Lewisville’s Chin Community Ministry.