Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon said the hopes that came with democracy have not been realised and, instead, the country is wounded and bleeding.
In a 7,000-plus word statement, released on the feast of the Assumption, the cardinal expressed deep concerns about the challenges faced by Myanmar’s people, reported ucanews.com.
“Seven years ago, we saw what we thought was the beginning of a new dawn,” Cardinal Bo said.
“As political prisoners were released, cease-fires were signed, space for civil society and the media relaxed, and a dialogue between political leaders led to the first credible elections in a quarter of a century and the election of a democratic, civilian-led government in 2015.
“But in recent years, very dark clouds have appeared again, overshadowing the flickers of light that had begun to emerge. Continuing conflict, continuing abuses, and the spread of religious and racial hatred threaten the hopes, freedoms, and dignity of people throughout the country.”
The cardinal – who interspersed his statement with quotes from Church documents, previous popes and even the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – added that the country faced growing threats to religious freedom as preachers of hatred incited discrimination and violence, while unjust laws and regulations imposed restrictions on religious freedom for minorities. Identity politics had also mixed race, religion and politics into a dangerous cocktail of hate and intolerance.
Picture: Soldiers in Nawnghkio, Myanmar, walk on a destroyed bridge that leads to China, on 15th August 2019. (CNS photo/Stringer, Reuters).