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Myanmar (Burma) is a Buddhist majority country with a significant minority population residing in the country. Section 361 of the Constitution states that "The Union recognizes the special position of Buddhism as the faith professed by the great majority of the citizens of the Union."According to both the 2016 census of the Burmese government Buddhism is the dominant religion, of 88% of the population, practiced especially by the Bamar, Rakhine, Shan, Mon, Karen people and Chinese ethnic groups. Bamar people also practice the Burmese folk religion under the name of Buddhism. The new constitution provides for the freedom of religion; however, it also grants broad exceptions that allow the regime to restrict these rights at will. Ethnic minorities practice Christianity (6.3%, particularly the Chin, Kachin and Karen people), Islam (4.1%, particularly the Rohingya, Malay, Burmese Chinese and Burmese Indian), and Hinduism (0.5%, particularly by Burmese Indians).
Buddhists, although clearly professed by the majority of people in Myanmar, have their complaints regarding religious freedom. A political party, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, split from the main Karen nationalist movement, the Karen National Union (KNU), after the Buddhists were denied to rebuild and repair the stupas at Manerplaw. The top leadership of the KNU were also dominated by Christians, although roughly 65% of the Karen are Buddhist.
Buddhism the fastest growing religion and majority religion in the Myanmar. However, all data about religious demographics is difficult. Although many must list their religion on government forms and identification documents, the number of adherents varies widely from source to source. The constitution provides for freedom of religion but the government imposes restrictions on other religions and grants special preferences towards Buddhism. The Department for the Perpetuation and Propagation of the Sasana and state-sponsored State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee support and regulate Buddhism in the country. The Committee has the power to disrobe monks who have violated its decrees and edicts as well as Vinaya regulations and laws, and expel monks from their resident monasteries. There is also a deep, mutually legitimising historical relationship between the state and the Sangha (monkhood) with long held inseparability of Buddhism and politics within the country.
Around 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas live in Burma with around 80% living in the Western state of Rakhine. The Military of Myanmar has been killing and driving the Rohingyas out of the country as part of their on and off attempt since the 1940s to create a Muslim-free land in Western Burma. 2b1af7f3a8