Quickly—how is “Rohingya” pronounced? And where is it on the world map? And why should it be in the news today?
A search of the internet will show that there is a horrific ethnic cleansing taking place in Rohingya. These are a Muslim people found mainly in Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country. The Rohingya have long suffered increasing persecution—in 2013, the United Nations identified them as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The Myanmar government restricts their freedom and limits their access to state education and civil service employment. World news organizations now report that this persecution has evolved into a genocide of ethnic cleansing as a nation tries to rid itself of the Rohingya. Estimates are that approximately 100,000 Rohingya people have been forcibly placed in concentration camps, while almost a million have fled to neighboring countries.
I don’t mean to ruin your day. I believe that our God of unfailing love wants us to be aware of what grieves His heart. We are blessed. Fall is upon us with its brilliant colors. Pumpkins adorn our entryways; apples are fresh and bountiful. Children will dress in costume and cheerfully go from door to door gathering treats. I’m proud to be an American. We are a richly blessed people.
This Sunday is “National Refugee Sunday.” As we enjoy the blessings of the season, I believe our God of unfailing love would have us pause and remember the displaced refugees around the world, in our city, and across the street.