Violations of religious freedom have been a significant factor in creating the conditions that marked the “path to genocide.” Therefore, protecting religious freedom will be critical for those looking to walk with the “Rohingya on this path out of genocide.”
The genocide determination issued by the Biden administration has been a long time coming, but it’s never too late to do the right thing. The determination should now act as a catalyst for global momentum to hold the perpetrators accountable.
The brutalities endured by Burma’s Rohingya—the country’s most vulnerable population—were bad even before the recent coup. The US response must take their plight into account, or risk making it even worse.
If Pakistan takes such great lengths to “protect” Islam and its Muslim citizens, it should also seek to protect fellow Muslims abroad who are the victims of ethnic cleansing, oppression, or persecution.
With Myanmar’s military still controlling 25 percent of its parliament and a history of brutal crackdowns—not to mention the recent Rohingya crisis—COVID-19 is exacerbating the precarious balance between the military and civilians in power.
The most profound and powerful reasons for religious freedom are Christian reasons, and they extend not only to Christians but to all people. In my view this means that there is also a deep theological warrant for international religious freedom.