SBC President J.D. Greear Joins Call for Trump Administration to Label Myanmar Atrocities as Genocide

Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear joined a diverse coalition in urging the Trump administration to label as genocide the brutalities against religious and ethnic minorities in Myanmar.

Greear and more than 75 other signers—including Bob Roberts, senior pastor of Northwood Church in Keller—sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Oct. 17 requesting the official designation in response to what they described as the Myanmar military’s “planned, coordinated campaign of mass killings, gang rapes and other atrocities” against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. Myanmar, also known as Burma, is located in Southeast Asia.

Immediate action by the Trump administration is needed because the military forces that brutalized the Rohingya have moved to Kachin state to “commit the same atrocities” against Christians there, according to the letter from The Faith Coalition to Stop Genocide in Burma.

“The atrocities in Myanmar cry out for justice to be done, especially for those of us who see the image of God in all persons. The U.S. government must face this evil and call it what it is—genocide,” said Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Now is the time for action to prevent further killings, bring perpetrators to justice and provide relief for the victims.”

Call to ‘take immediate action’
Military-led violence against the Rohingya Muslims of Rakhine state in 2017 reportedly included the murder of possibly 10,000 people and the forced evacuation from the predominantly Buddhist country of more than 700,000 others.

The coalition called for Pompeo “to take immediate action by articulating a moral, political and policy designation of genocide respecting the dignity and safety of victimized Burmese individuals. We call on you as the chief diplomat for the United States, to take this bold humanitarian step and provide the leadership to the international community that is desperately needed with this declaration.”

Genocide—according to a 1948 United Nations treaty—includes the commission of prohibited acts with the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

A U.N. report in August concluded conduct by the Myanmar military—in collaboration with some civilians—against the Rohingya constituted four of the acts banned under genocide, the coalition said in the letter. Those acts are killing, causing serious bodily or mental harm, inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of the group in whole or in part, and imposing measures intending to prevent births, the letter stated.

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SOURCE: Baptist Standard; Baptist Press, Tom Strode