Trump’s order could threaten Christian refugees from Malaysia
Christian refugees who flee from their homes in Myanmar long for a life in the United States
More than 100,000 Christians are now living as refugees in Malaysia after fleeing from their homes in Myanmar because of rising religious persecution, according to a recent report in The Christian Times.
Most of Myanmar’s estimated 4 million Christians are from ethnic minorities who live in states bordering China, Thailand, and India, according to the report. Some of the persecuted Christians are hoping to resettle in the US, but they might be affected by President Donald Trump’s new travel ban, which suspends the country’s refugee program. The executive order, which was blocked by two federal courts last week, also seeks a 55 percent reduction in refugee visas from 110,000 to 50,000 this year.
“America is really our fatherland in terms of religion,” said a 38-year-old woman named Tin. “They sent their missionaries to our country and taught us to be Christians. And now we had to escape. All we want is to be safe,” she added.
Tin and her community fled the Chin State, where over 90 percent of the residents followed the tenets of the American Baptist Church by 2009, according to Human Rights Watch. This puts them in conflict with the military campaign to elevate Buddhism over other religions.
Tin and the other Christians said that people threw rocks at them when they gathered for family prayers. They had to hide their Bibles for fear of more attacks.
Sang, a 29-year-old school teacher who learned English as a theology student, said in response to Trump’s executive order that Christians simply want to work for a living.
“We are not terrorists, we are Christians. We will never be a problem in the United States. We will get educations, we will work hard. We only seek safety,” said Sang.