History and Culture

More than 135 different ethnic groups call Burma (Myanmar) home. One of these ethnic groups, the Chin, are located in Chin State in northwest Burma, bordering India and Bangladesh. They are one of the founding groups of the Union of Burma (1948 – 1962).

Chin State in Burma

(Photo Source)

About 1.5 million Chin live in Burma and are mostly Christian. According to BBC, they “are one of the most persecuted minority groups in Burma.” This religious, ethnic, and government persecution dates back to 1962 when a military takeover ended the Union of Burma. A report by Human Rights Watch concluded that the Chin are “subjected to forced labour, torture, rape, arbitrary arrest and extra-judicial killings as part of a Burmese government policy to suppress the Chin people and their ethnic identity.”

The Chin of Northern Kentucky are part of the largest wave of refugees entering the United States today, a trend that many may not be aware of. According to Public Radio International,

“The No. 1 group of modern refugees in America is neither Syrian nor Iraqi nor Muslim nor Arab. They’re Christians from Myanmar, also called Burma. In the past 10 years, roughly one in four US-bound refugees have come from Myanmar.”

Myanmar refugees 1 out of 4 US refugees

(More information coming soon)


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