Burmese Christian Refugees in India Live in Appalling Conditions
December 2, 2011
Thousands of Christians from Burma's Chin State have fled to India to escape persecution and poverty in their highly militarized country, but many problems still persist in their new home, the New York Times reports. Refugees live crammed into several neighborhoods in west Delhi, suffering from diseases, sharing single rooms with large families and staying indoors to avoid pollution and the risk of assault. Citizenship is not an option, though refugees can apply for protection from potential deportation. Many Chins still say, however, that they had too much to risk if they remained in Burma -- Chin State has been ravaged by military rule since the 1960s, and ethnic minorities like the Christian Chins, Kayans, Kachins, Arakan and Mon have suffered endless persecution, forced slavery, rape, assault and poverty. India is a refuge for now, but Chins feel a prevailing sense of anonymity. "We are here, but no one knows," one woman said. "We want people to know."