Guest Posting: A Brief Perspective of Chin History
[This posting was written by Biak. He is a Burmese Bible college graduate. Please watch for a story about him in our local newspaper, a reporter interviewed him today.]
- 1. “Chin” refers to people who live in the Chin state of Burma (Myanmar). Chin people are a minor ethnic people in Burma. The Chin state is located in the western part of Burma. It borders the Mizoram state of India. Chin is a hilly state, people farm for a living. The people mostly farm corn and only some people farm rice.
2. How Christianity reached the Chin state!
Our ancestors were undressed and covered only the waist part of the body. They were very fond of drinking alcohol and delighted in that.
They had no knowledge about Jesus Christ but believed in animism. Of course, by seeing the natural beauty of the Chin land our ancestors believed that there must be a creator of all things. But they never heard about the creator God, so they had animistic beliefs.
God always had a heart for the Chin. He spoke to Carson and Laura Conrad to become the first U.S.A. mission workers in the Chin land. They served in Burma in the mid-1800’s. They committed themselves to God’s ministry for them. Through them God blessed the Chin people, and the Chin land is called now a Christian state.
3. Why many Chin People leave the Chin State or “Motherland”
Burma is a Buddhist country which is forcing all the people to be Buddhists. The ruling military junta sent a Buddhist mission worker into every state of Burma, including to the Chin. At the same time Christian mission workers are not allowed to preach the gospel. It’s amazing and very cruel that a Mong Buddhist missionary was sent. The Burmese military was also involved.
But the Chin people had a strong faith in God through the preaching of Carson and Laura. Chin Christian leaders rejected Buddhistic teachings. Soon the Burmese military began torturing and persecuting the Chin Christians. Christian churches were not allowed to construct new buildings. Christians were forced to be porter and road builders for the military. This left families with no breadwinner to support them. Many times the Christians were conscripted to work on Sundays, so that they could not worship God on the Lord’s day.
From the beginning the Chin people have been against the junta rule and have demanded democracy for Burma. For this reason the Burmese military did not like the Chin people.
Till today, Chin young men and women are forced to convert to Buddhism. At the same them they are forced to join the Burmese military. In summary the Burmese military has badly treated the Chin people over the issues of religion, race and culture. There is no freedom of religion or political freedom. In addition to that, the Chin people are discriminated against, tortured, persecuted and oppressed by the Burmese ruling junta.
4. Chin People in the U.S.A.
Through the commitment of Carson and Laura Conrad from the U.S.A., Chin people were blessed and became Christians. Today many Chin are coming to the U. S. A. because of harm in their Chin villages. The Chin people feel like they are actually coming to their parent’s home (the Conrad’s land). They enjoy being here and love to serve God with other believers in the U.S.A.
On the other hand, as human beings, there is some discouragement regarding their lives, thinking of their past lives, what they faced in Burma and the difficulties in the journey to the U.S.A. They miss the motherland, parents, brothers and sisters who were left behind in the Chin land.
There are so many difficulties to go through as a refugee. Therefore it is the humble request of the refugees to remember them in your prayers. Pray for them as they being their new lives. They desire your prayer support and moral support.
[For more reading about the Chin and Burmese please explore these web links: