International Rohingya Remembrance Day in Carlow
At 3 pm on International Rohingya Remembrance Day (25 August) the bells of Carlow’s St. Mary’s Church, along with those of the Cathedral of the Assumption, rang out in solidarity with the persecuted Rohingya people of Myanmar. Rohingya Action Ireland organised a day at Carlow College to celebrate Rohinyan ethnicity and to remember the events of last year. An estimated 655,000 to 700,000 Rohingya people reportedly fled to Bangladesh between 25 August 2017 and December 2017, to avoid ethnic and religious persecution by Myanmar’s security forces in their ‘clearance operations’ against insurgents. There are an additional 300,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, who arrived after fleeing earlier waves of communal violence and systematic persecution over the last three decades.
Since coming to Carlow the 105 Rohingya have made the town their home and have become hugely involved in the life in the town including contributing to the rejuvenation of Carlow Cricket Club. For some time the Rohingya have being making use of the Church of Ireland Community House for various activities including a cook book publication project. Rev. David White, Rector of Carlow Union of Parishes, said, ‘As a Christian people we must be wary of complacency when it comes to these terrible atrocities. It’s not just enough to pray for the persecuted; we must also help and support them in real, meaningful and practical ways.’