Buddhism 89%
Islam 4%
Christianity 4%
Others 2%
Hinduism 1%
Population: 60,584,650

Myanmar government recognizes eight major national ethnic races that comprise 135 distinctethnic groups. These include the Bamar (68%), Shan (9%), Kayin (7%), Rakhine (4%), Mon (2%), Kayah, and Kachin.

Unrecognized ethnic groups include Burmese Indians and Burmese Chinese, who form 2% and 3% of the population respectively. The remaining 5% of the population belong to small ethnic groups such as the remnants of the Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian communities, as well as the Lisu, Rawang, Naga, Padaung, Moken, and many minorities across Shan State.

The Muslim population faces religious persecution in Myanmar. Since independence, successive governments, the democratic and military both did not grant the citizenship of the Muslim Rohingya of Northern Rakhine and forbid missionary activities. The Rohingyasdue to instances of violence and riots had to flee to neighboring Bangladesh or to Muslim states. Their claim to citizenship has been marred by disputes with the ethnic Arakanese, who are mainly Buddhists. The Rohingyas claim to be the original inhabitants of the region, even stating that the temples of Mrauk U were once Rohingya mosques. Those claims have caused the Buddhist Arakanese to be hostile towards the Rohingya. Also many minority religions in Myanmar claim to have a greater following than the official statistics but many a times they also tend to overrepresent the number of adherents.

Persecution of 140 millionRohingya Muslims in Myanmar Leads to High Exodus

Rohingya Muslims are fighting for citizenship rights in Myanmar. Despite leaving for generations they are not considered official ethnic minorities of the nation leaving in fear of severe persecution and being ostracism

Posted on May 16, 2014

--- The Indian Minority