Indian Catholics help Myanmar Christian refugees

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The Catholic Church in the Indian state of Mizoram has joined with other Christian denominations and youth associations to help Christian refugees fleeing unrest in Myanmar.

According to media reports, over the past six months, thousands of Myanmar Christians have sought refuge in Christian-dominated Mizoram after the military junta stepped up its crackdown on rebels in China’s border Chin state. India.

“Currently, around 15,000 refugees from Myanmar live in Mizoram, mainly in Champhai, on the Indo-Myanmare border, a strategically important location,” Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl told UCA News.

“The Church is engaged in humanitarian work with several other denominations, Caritas India, Catholic Relief Services, the Young Mizo Association and NGOs. Our main priorities are to provide them with shelter, medicine and food and we have successfully implemented our program with the help of our partners.

“There is no problem for us to help the refugees because the people of Myanmar have been coming and going in Mizoram for decades. Many have relatives on both sides of the border, so people can understand their suffering and welcome them with open arms.

“Many refugees are staying with their relatives and others are in relief camps run by churches and NGOs. The Young Mizo association is very active and helps all the agencies meet the conditions. “

There are several issues that need to be addressed with love and care as refugees are shocked and traumatized when leaving their country.

Bishop Rotluanga said the state government encouraged and appreciated the relief work and the chief minister of Mizoram even asked the prime minister to help with emergency relief funds.

“There are several issues that need to be addressed with love and care as refugees are shocked and traumatized when they leave their country. Many have lost their loved ones. Most of them are Christians in our camp, but there are also some Muslims, ”he said.

Several refugees from Myanmar have traveled back and forth depending on the situation in their country, but recent airstrikes have recently made trafficking one-way.

Reports said the unrest escalated after the Chinland Defense Force and the Chin National Army captured a Myanmar military camp near the Mizoram border and detained 12 soldiers.

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“We expect more refugees in our state after the outbreak of a new conflict. We already have around 11,500 refugees in our state right now, ”said C. Lalrosanga, member of the lower house of parliament.

Lalrosanga said the Myanmar Chins are ethnically related to the Mizos of Mizoram. The militias of the former sided with the pro-democracy forces, in particular the government of national unity, the government of Myanmar in exile.

State government officials say Burmese refugees swim across the Tiau River or use small boats.

However, Lalrosanga said that in the absence of any policy regarding refugees from Myanmar, the villagers of Mizoram took care of the refugees.

He said he and officials from Mizoram state recently met with Interior Minister Ajay Kumar Bhalla to brief him on the situation and to seek humanitarian assistance from refugees.

But according to an opinion of the Ministry of the Interior, the states and territories of the Union do not have the power to grant refugee status to a foreigner, and India is not a signatory of the Convention of Nations. United Nations Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 Protocols.

Mizoram, sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar, is one of only three predominantly Christian states in India. Christians make up nearly 90 percent of the state’s 1.1 million people. In the states of Meghalaya and Nagaland, also in northeast India, Christians are nearly 90 percent.

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