2,000,000 + people seeking a new home, peace and freedom
It is difficult to find accurate population estimates concerning the Rohingya, as they are not recognised as citizens in any country. Most Rohingya are located in Rakhine State, Myanmar. They are refugees located in Bangladesh, Malaysia, China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Thailand. There are a few hundred believers in the Messiah among the Rohingya, all coming from a small Sufi sect of Islam.
The Muslim Rohingya people originally come from Myanmar (Burma). They are and have been highly persecuted in their homeland and as refugees even as far back as the Second World War. The current military rulers of Myanmar rely heavily on Burmese nationalism and Buddhism to bolster their rule and, therefore, heavily discriminate against minorities like the Rohingya.
The Rohingya are now scattered throughout South and Southeast Asia. There are roughly 111,000 refugees housed in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border. Many of Rohingya have remained in refugee camps or temporary locations for long periods waiting for opportunities to emigrate elsewhere. Unfortunately, due to their bad reputation, it is often very difficult for them to be accepted. In Malaysia the Rohingya refugee children are not allowed to attend local schools and are growing up with no hope of a better future. In recent years a number of schools have been set up for them, but there are difficulties concerning funding and qualified staff. Some Rohingya communities have opposed education efforts by non-Muslims. Their lives as refugees are often filled with fear, uncertainty, trauma, abuse, and injustice.
An Arabic based font (Arabic plus some extra accents and characters) is being used in Myanmar for publishing some written materials in the Rohingya language and a Roman character based system is already in use on the web. A significant number of Rohingya people have lived in Bangladesh as refugees have a preference for using the Bengali script. As a consequence it seems inevitable that the Scriptures will have to be in at least three different alphabets.
- At this time there are 21 Bible stories being translated into Rohingya and it is hoped they will be available for distribution in the coming months. Deciding what texts to translate and how to make them available is a challenge. Good communication and careful coordination of the translation projects is important
- Please pray for this people and the efforts to make the Messiah known among the Rohingya. Some believers have sought to help them. May God raise up others.
Listen to the Podcast – DAY 29 – Rohingya People Myanmar