by Olivia Buster ’20

The Rohingya people have been described as “The world’s most persecuted minority group.” The Rohingya are an ethnic minority group in Myanmar, a majority of which are Muslim who live in Myanmar where the majority is Buddhist, this has caused religious turmoil.

Rohingya  aren’t considered one of Myanmar’s 135 official ethnic groups and haven’t had citizenship since 1982. After 9 border police were killed in Oct. 2016, Myanmar troops poured into the Rakhine State, the government blamed fighters from an Rohingya group. After the attack, Myanmar issued a security crackdown on Rohingya villages. The increase of security led to accounts of government troops committing rape, arson and extrajudicial killing, all of these which the government denies.

A UN official accused the government of “ethnic cleansing.” Since the 1970s, around one million Rohingya have fled Myanmar due to widespread persecution. According to data from the UN more than 168,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since 2012. The International Organization reported that more than 87,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh Oct. 2016 to 2017.

The persecution of the Rohingya have brought on world condemnation against the Myanmar government. More than once, the U.N Under -Secretary-General for humanitarian affairs requested an appeal for access to the population of of Rohingya in the northern Rakhine. The Buddhist -majority has blocked access to most regions, but some agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross have offices in towns open to help aid the Rohingya.

Partner’s Relief and Development is a Christian organization that is accepting donations to help the Rohingya people. Since 2012 the organization has provided emergency relief to the Rohingya in the Rakhine state, as well as groups going to Bangladesh. Donations can help provide shelter by distributing tarps to families, bring medicines to sick or injured people, or deliver food packs.