Myanmar lawmakers to debate law curbing religious conversions

Lawmakers in Myanmar debate proposed laws that aim to protect the country’s majority Buddhist identity by regulating religious conversions and interfaith marriages.

According to Reuters, the proposals come amidst rising sectarian tension in Myanmar, which has exploded in violent clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, killing at least 237 people and displacing more than 140,000 since June 2012.

The vast majority of victims were Muslims who make up only about 5 percent of Myanmar's population of 60 million.

 

According to this proposal, anyone seeking to change their religion have to get permission from panels of government officials in each township.

Dhammapiya, a senior monk who helped write the original proposal for the laws, said they were meant to encourage peace between different faiths and to "protect" Buddhist women from being forced to convert to Islam when they married Muslim men.

"Many incidents happen, so this marriage law is to help the women do something," he added.

For more details check Reuters