Chin State, Burma
state is among the most remote and least populated areas of
Burma with less than half a million people. Foreign tourists are
currently not allowed access to the mountainous state with dense
is commonly used as a collective name for around forty ethnic
peoples in western Burma, such as Zo, Lai, Lushei, Matu and are
part of the same stock as the ethnic Mizos in India.
modern times, over 70% of the Chins have become Christian, but
there are still many practising animists as well as Buddhist,
Hindus and Moslems in Chin State. Religious persecution by the
military regime against the Christian Chins have seen the
destruction of numerous churches.
than half of the Chins are rice farmers engaged in shifting
cultivation but corn is also a common staple crop with a
majority of the people living hand-to-mouth. Villages are often
located on mountaintops and the collection fire wood and
drinking water a time consuming part of their survival.
most common national symbol of the Chins is the Hornbill which
is becoming a rarity even in the Chin hills. Other wild animals
include Tiger, Elephants, Bear, Barking deer and the nearly
extinct wild Mithun ox.
The Shwe Project threatens not only the culture of the Chins, but their livelihood and environment as well. (see: Issues, Cultural and Environmental Destruction)
 The Chin Human Rights