Introduction / History
In historical perspective Rakhine, the home of the Rohingya people, is more a frontier province of eastern India than a province of Burma (now called Myanmar). From the very early days till the arrival of the Mongolians and Tibeto-Burmans in the 10th century, Rakhine was an Indian land with a population similar to Bengal. The spread of Islam in Rakhine during those early times and the impact of Islamic civilization on Rakhine particularly after Bengal became Muslim in 1203 A.D is well known.
According to history, Islam reached Rakhine in the late 8th century AD and attracted the local people to come to Islam en masse. Since then Islam played an important role towards the advancement of civilization in Rakhine. Muslims ruled Rakhine between 1430 to 1638. The system of government (Muslim sultanates) was common in those days. It was an independent Muslim kingdom in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Rohingya people have been violently persecuted by the Myanmar government, which calls them "non-natives" because they are not Buddhists like the Burmese majority. Thousands had to flee for their lives. Some of them have gone to Malaysia for refuge.
Where are they located?
Rohingya refugees flee the violent oppression of the government in Myanmar. Some of them wind up in deadly jungle camps, where women are commonly raped, and all Rohingyas risk being killed, even the children. Others are trafficked and wind up as virtual slaves on fishing boats.
What are their lives like?
Most of the Rohingyas are hoping to relocate to Malaysia. Malaysia is a Muslim majority nation where they expect better treatment. But they must go through southern Thailand on the way, leaving them vulnerable to human traffickers, and Thai government officials who suspect them of aiding Muslim insurgents in their southern border.
What are their beliefs?
The Rohingyas need a safe place to live. They need freedom from violent oppression, and the opportunity to earn a good living, and have their children get an education.
What are their needs?
* Pray for the Rohingya people to find safe refuge in Malaysia and other nations.
* Pray for them to find jobs and schools.
* The Rohingya people have very little chance to hear that Jesus Christ offers them much more than they could ever imagine. Pray for the Rohingyas in Malaysia to be reached by the Lord through dreams, visions, and through Christian materials on the Internet.
* Pray for a disciple making movement among the Rohingya people in Malaysia that will reach those living in Myanmar.
Text source: Keith Carey