A senior Myanmar military leader told Pope Francis during this week’s high profile Papal visit that there is “no religious discimination” in the country.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing – a military leader that many hold responsible for the plight of Muslim Rohingya – said that all religions in the country were able to worship freely.
Critics of the regime point to overwhelming evidence to the contrary and argue that the UN, UK and UN all dispute Myanmar’s version of events.
Furthermore, Christian leaders report that the military continues to oppress the country’s Christians, especially in places Chin and Kachin States, where churches and crosses have been destroyed. The army has also been accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown of killing, rape, and burning villages against the Rohingya people, forcing over 620,000 to flee to Bangladesh.
Some Christians would prefer the Pope not to anger the Buddhist majority during his visit, for fear that it could potentially lead to repercussions for minorities.