Burma ‘War Crimes’ panel gathers steam

By August 23, 2010

Burma (MNN) — The United States
officially backs a Burma "war crimes" panel and inquiry.

President Barack Obama supports
the creation of an international commission that will investigate war crimes allegedly
committed by the ruling military junta.

The announcement comes as part of
an effort  to put Burma on a path to
reform, to achieve credible elections as well as promote national
reconciliation. However, their human
and religious rights record has been questionable.

Wes Flint with Vision Beyond Borders
says that's because of a campaign targeting the Arakan, Chin and the Karen,
many of whom are Christians. "The Burmese
army is not bashful about it: their goal is to exterminate the Karen people,
to wipe them off the face of the earth."

As far as what kind of teeth an
inquiry will have in stopping the wholesale murder of the Karen, Flint is not
optimistic. He points out that "the UN
has made promises of this sort in the past, as far as inquiries, but this has been
happening for over 20 years."

The impact of this
could have an interesting effect on the harassment of the Karen. It comes in advance of the November 7

Flint says they're
already seeing an increase in the oppression against believers. "As the
elections are coming soon, this increased persecution is going by unheard and
unknown," although Washington may also be considering
tightening sanctions against the junta in an effort to short-circuit the

In the meantime,
refugees are still coming from Burma. "They're fleeing across to the
Thailand side for safety and refuge. But unfortunately, many of these children
are in the jungle, and they're in remote areas in the jungle where they have no
provisions. There's no clothing, there's no blankets, there's no mosquito

Flint says VBB is
responding to these needs. "We
just shipped a container, and it arrived in Bangkok just a few days ago. It is
loaded with Bibles and with clothing to help the Karen people. They're living
on what's available in the jungle."

More than the encouragement their
team gets from the physical help, it's important to pray for the
believers. The hope of Christ sustains
many of the Christians. Flint says, "Be in fervent prayer for peace, that the
UN would step in and do their job, and that the Lord would have a victory
through this terrible tragedy."

The reclusive nation ranks #23
on the Open Doors World Watch list–a list of 50 countries which ranked
according among the worst persecutors of Christians. The worst part of this
tragedy is that there is so much apathy surrounding it.  

Few people know what's happening
or the scale of the destruction. Flint
says, "Be a voice for those that are there who really have no voice." Click here to help.

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