On September 20, 2018, the Canadian House of Commons unanimously adopted a motion that recognizes the recent violence against the Rohingya people as genocide.
The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority and more than a million Rohingya refugees have fled violence in Myanmar in successive waves of displacement since the early 1990s. The latest exodus began in August 2017 when renewed violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, driving more than 700,000 to seek refuge in Bangladesh. The vast majority reaching Bangladesh are women, the elderly and children, and more than 40 percent are under age 12.
In partnership with the Canadian Council of Imams, the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), a diverse group of faith leaders in Canada have released a joint public statement calling for an end to the violence in Myanmar and for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict. The statement is endorsed by over 20 faith leaders and organizations, including the Moderator of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, the Rev. Daniel Cho.
Signatories affirm that, “As faith leaders of diverse communities in Canada, we are united in our belief and concern for the inviolable dignity of all persons…We strongly encourage the people of Myanmar to build peace, to heal the wounds of your communities through dialogue and forgiveness, and to let justice be realized for those who have been wronged.”
Noting that 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the signatories also urge that “…[we] raise our voices once again and say: Never again.”
The statement ends with a challenge to all Canadians to call for justice, reconciliation and peace for the people of Myanmar and to be agents of peace and reconciliation in their own families, workplaces and communities.
Read the full statement: