Burma (Myanmar)
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Burma (Myanmar)
Region: South-Eastern Asia
2015 Population1: 54,348,931
Total Area (sq.miles): 261,228
Life Expectancy at Birth2: 66.4
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2016 US $)2: ---
Official Religion(s) or Church(es)3: Buddhism

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Indexes

Religious Regulation Index (2014)4:
RAS3 State Regulation of Majority or All Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 10/253

[Further Detail]
Religious Minority Discrimination Index (2014)4:
RAS3 State Discrimination of Minority Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 6/253

[Further Detail]
State Funding of Religions (2014)4:
RAS3 State Funding of Religion, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 46/253

[Further Detail]
Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions (2014)4:
RAS3 Societal Discrimination of Minority Religions, Summary Categories (0=None; 1=Low; 2=Medium; 3=High)

Ranking: 5/253

[Further Detail]

History

Burma, officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, commonly shortened to Myanmar, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. One-third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 km (1,200 miles) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Burma has a population of 51 million people. Burma is 676,578 square kilometres (261,227 sq mi) in size. Burma's capital city is Naypyidaw and its largest city is Yangon. Early civilisations in Burma included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu in Upper Burma and the Mon in Lower Burma. In the 9th century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the Burmese language, culture and Theravada Buddhism slowly became dominant in the country. The Pagan Empire fell due to the Mongol invasions and several warring states emerged. In the 16th century, reunified by the Taungoo Dynasty, the country was for a brief period the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia. The early 19th century Konbaung Dynasty ruled over an area that included modern Burma and briefly controlled Manipur and Assam as well. The British conquered Burma after three Anglo-Burmese Wars in the 19th century and the country became a British colony. Burma became an independent nation in 1948, initially as a democratic nation and then, following a coup in 1962, a military dictatorship which formally ended in 2011. For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and a myriad of Burma's ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world's longest-running ongoing civil wars. During this time, the United Nations and several other organisations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country. In 2011, the military junta was officially dissolved following a 2010 general election, and a nominally civilian government was installed. Although the military retains enormous influence, it has taken steps toward relinquishing control of the government. This, along with the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, has improved the country's human rights record and foreign relations, and has led to the easing of trade and other economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States. There is, however, continuing criticism of the government's treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority and its poor response to the religious clashes. Burma is a country rich in jade and gems, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2013, its GDP (nominal) stood at US$56.759 billion and its GDP (PPP) at US$221.479 billion. The income gap in Myanmar is among the widest in the world, as a large proportion of the economy is controlled by supporters of the former military government. As of 2013, according to the Human Development Index (HDI), Burma had a low level of human development, ranking 150 out of 187 countries.5

 

Sources

1.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Demographics reports the estimates of religious demographics, both country by country and region by region. The RCS was created to fulfill the unmet need for a dataset on the religious dimensions of countries of the world, with the state-year as the unit of observation. It estimates populations and percentages of adherents of 100 religious denominations including second level subdivision within Christianity and Islam. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

2.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank's Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

3.  The Religious Characteristics of States Dataset Project: Government Religious Preference (GRP) measures government-level favoritism toward, and disfavor against, 30 religious denominations. A series of ordered categorical variables index the state's institutional favoritism in 28 different ways. The variables are combined to form five composite indices for five broad components of state-religion: official status, religious education, financial support, regulatory burdens, and freedom of practice. The five components' composites in turn are further combined into a single composite score, the GRP score. The RCS Data Project would like to acknowledge, recognize, and express our deepest gratitude for the significant contributions of Todd M. Johnson the principal investigator of the World Christian Database and the co-principal investigator of the World Religion Database.

4.  The Religion and State (RAS) Project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. Its goal is to create a set of measures that systematically gauge the intersection between government and religion. Specifically, it examines government religion policy. Round 3 of the RAS dataset measures the extent of government involvement in religion (GIR) or the lack thereof for 183 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2014. This constitutes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more as well as a sampling of smaller states. This dataset, featuring this and other international measures highlighted on the country pages, may be previewed and downloaded here. Used with permission.

5.  Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from Wikipedia.org, 2015. (http://www.wikipedia.org/)

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