Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Why doesn't Aung San Suu Kyi speak up for the Rohingya?
Hostilities towards the Rohingya people could derail Myanmar's progress to democracy and Suu Kyi could make a vast contribution to resolving the crisis. Note: this is an edited extract from a much longer article.
- Akbar Ahmed and Harrison Akins
- October 30, 2012
Yet, Suu Kyi has remained curiously silent on one of the most urgent humanitarian issues facing Burma, the plight of the Rohingya people.
The Rohingya, whom the BBC and many NGOs call â€śone of the worldâ€™s most persecuted minority groups,â€ť are the little known Muslim people of the coastal Arakan state of western Burma. Over the past three decades, the Rohingya have been systematically pushed out of their homes by Burmaâ€™s military government and subjected to widespread violence along with the complete negation of their rights and even identity. They have become a stateless minority.
Many hundreds of thousands have fled to neighboring countries. The Rohingya are surrounded by adherents of the great faiths - Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity - all of which emphasise compassion and charity for the needy. Despite these compulsions from their faiths, many Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians in South Asia have treated the Rohingya with nothing but outright hostilityâ€¦.
â€¦. The Rohingya are also subjected to modern-day slavery, where they are forced to work on infrastructure projects, such as constructing â€śmodel villagesâ€ť to house Burmese settlers intended to displace them. Women are susceptible to forced prostitution by the Burmese security forces.
While many efforts have been made by the Burmese government towards the creation of an open and democratic political system, there is still much more to be done. Suu Kyi, following the example of inclusive leaders like Nelson Mandela, should reach out to the Rohingya people and set a positive precedent for an all-embracing society which welcomes the participation of the Rohingya as well as all the ethnic minorities of Burma. In this way, she will also be living up to the ideals of her Buddhist faith to show compassion towards those who suffer. Where she leads, others will follow.
Only when the systematic violence against the Rohingya ends can a truly democratic Burma be legitimate in the eyes of its own people and the international community.
But the first step is for Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma to acknowledge the Rohingya exist.
Full Story:Â Aung San Suu Kyi, the Rohingya of Burma and the challenge of faith
Source: Washington Post