Long before the current atheism, Myanmar has its own scholars and free thinkers who tried to challenge the religious fundamentalism. They tried to challenge the patriarchal system among the religions inside Myanmar such as Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Some of them were Shin Ukkahta, Ashin Addiccavamsa,  Dhammavihari Shin Nyarna, and Saccavadi (Kyaw, 2020).

Shin Ukkahta was an unorthodox Buddhist scholar whose beliefs and criticisms are really similar to Stephen Batchelor of our time. But as a result, he was sentenced into jail several times for his unorthodox views. Moreover, some of his books and his recordings were censored since todays. Those who tend to republish or re-distribute are also exposed to danger to be sentenced under the religious act of Blasphemy and others religious acts.

But being an organisation that supports freedom of speech and skepticism, I, Hein, as a spokeperson of Burmese Atheists challenged the state-sponsored censorships towards Religious skepticism. I developed an Android application hosting almost all the skeptical dhamma talks and texts.

The application can be accessed via this link.

U Nyarna who also is a Prisoner of Conscious just like Shin Ukkahta, had been in prison for more than 20-30 years for his skeptical believes towards karma and reincarniation. After he had been released from the prison, Ministry of Religious Affairs also warned him not to host public talks and stop distributing his scholistic texts. Being old and being a minority religious scholar with skeptical views, he doesn’t have much of supports financially and so on. So, he decided to step down and only host within his circle.

As a response, we also developed an Android application that contains all of his texts and dhamma talks.

The application can be accessed via this link.

By doing so, Burmese Atheist as an organisation as well as me as the developer who developed the software, might be exposed to the blasphemy acts and censorships acts. But we don’t care. We’d stand proudly for the innovative reformers with skeptical views towards religions.

Just as Karl Marx once said “Criticism of religion is a precondition of all other criticism”. Maybe if these reformed religious scholars manage to change the religious values and prejudices to become more compatible with 21st century progressive values, it would benefit not only the nation but also the society as a whole too.

Kyaw, H. H. (2020, May 02). Blasphemy and Human Rights Violations in Myanmar??? Retrieved from Burmese Atheists: https://burmeseatheists.org/2020/05/02/blasphemy-and-human-rights-violations-in-myanmar/