Originally from Burma, the Karen of St. Paul fled human rights abuses at the hands of the Burmese government and are now the largest population of Karen outside of Southeast Asia. In "Final Refuge," Rhena Tantisunthorn takes you inside their world. Read the story and view our two photo galleries, one from Burma and one from St. Paul. After reading the story and looking at the photos, check out our web-exclusive audio below.
But first, maybe you can help one of the community members mentioned in the story make a connection.
Paw Nay Bu taught Internally Displaced People with an American woman named Elizabeth on the eastern border of Karen State. She doesn't haven't any more information about the woman, but would like to get in touch with her. This is Paw Nay Bu, photographed by Nick Vlcek:
If you have any information, you can reach Paw Nay Bu through writer Rhena Tantisunthorn.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled web content.
In the audio clip below, First Baptist Church of St. Paul Karen congregants sing a traditional hymn which translates loosely as "I love you with the love of the Lord." Many Karen converted to the First Baptist church when missionaries from the United States brought the bible to their region over two hundred years ago. Today, the Baptist churches in St. Paul provide support and resources and operate as community space for Karen refugees. Hear their song in the Karen language: [audio-1] of the hymn. ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB Free Burma Rangers Karen Human Rights Group