Sleeping conditions in the jungle, where Chin State villagers are forced to flee. Credit: Free Burma Rangers

Burma Army Atrocities in Chin State the focus of IRF Summit 2024 Advocacy Event

21Wilberforce will join with the Chin Association of Maryland (CAM), the U.S. Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the American Baptist Churches USA, Boat People SOS, International Campaign for the Rohingya, and the Burma Advocacy Group to co-sponsor a Congressional Briefing hosted by Congressman Chris Smith, “Rising Persecution of Christians and the Humanitarian Fallout” on January 29, 2024, Rayburn House building (Room 2200) 12:30-1:30pm EST. This event, highlighting the impact of the attacks on Christian communities in Burma, will take place on what is designated as “Advocacy Day” for the International Religious Freedom Summit 2024.

RSVP: Register here (Lunch will be served)


  • Rep. Chris Smith, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs
  • Frederick A. Davie, Vice Chair, US Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • Bishop A. Elias Zaidan, Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • U Aung Kyi Nyunt, Chairman, Committee Representing Pyithu Hluttaw (Burma)
  • Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, Convenor, Burma Advocacy Group

Panelists: Rev. Fr. Peter Dee De, Pastor, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, IN; Rebecca Maw, sister of the imprisoned pastor, and Rev. Sang Hre, IN; Rev. Ah Le, General Secretary, Kachin Baptist Churches USA, MD; and the CAM Research Team.

Zo Tum Hmung, The Chin Association of Maryland Executive Director, said that “in late October 2023 our research team traveled to Burma to assess the situation. They will present their findings on the persecution of Christians in Burma and the situation of refugees from Burma in India’s Mizoram in a report released at the January 29th event.” This briefing aims to highlight the atrocities against Christians and urge the Congress and the Administration to do more to hold the Tatmadaw accountable and increase humanitarian aid.

The violence in Myanmar is having a devastating impact on the country’s Christian minority. The military coup of February 2021 has resulted in increased violence and tighter restrictions for Christians. It has become commonplace to kill believers and to attack churches indiscriminately, even in states that are predominantly Christian, like Chin and Kayah. In recent years, more Christians have fled their homes and sought refuge in churches or IDP camps. It is not uncommon for refugees to be forced into the jungle, where food and health care are often inaccessible.

UNHCR estimates that upwards of 55,000 mostly Chin refugees have fled across the border to India. Of this number, at least 40,150 are in Mizoram State alone, which borders Chin State. 8,250 more are in Manipur State, while 5,092 have presented themselves for registration in New Delhi.

Chin State is located in northwestern Burma (also known as Myanmar) and it borders India and Bangladesh. The Chin Association of Maryland is a non-profit that empowers the Chin community in the United States and advocates for refugees/IDPs, religious freedom and human rights in Burma. 21Wilberforce has cosponsored events with the Chin Association of Maryland in the past and we continue to partner with the Burma Advocacy Group raising awareness and advocacy for freedom of religion or belief in Burma.