These Are the Top Ten Worst Violators of Religious Freedom Worldwide

06 January, 2018, 03:18 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • These Are the Top Ten Worst Violators of Religious Freedom Worldwide

The State Department has the power to designate nations of concern and place them on its Special Watch List as per the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. In late December the Secretary of State re-designated 10 countries as "CPC's - Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan". The State Department says that the designation is annually made as a way to encourage other countries to join the U.S. in "upholding high but universal standards".

In a report last year, the Pew Research Center determined that over an eight-year period Pakistan is one of a small group of countries that "stand out as having the most restrictions on religion ... when both government restrictions and religious hostilities are taken into account".

Pakistan has reportedly allowed for "systemic, egregious" violations of religious freedom since 2002, sparking global concern.

Annually, the secretary of state designates governments that have engaged in or tolerated ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.

The law was passed during the Clinton administration as part of an effort to make religious freedom a key objective of us foreign policy.

Pakistan is ready to face any U.S. action, the country's defense minister and the army spokesman said. The same 10 were designated as CPCs a year earlier. "They are burned alive in the streets, the majority serve as cleaners or sweepers or sewage workers and they are held hostage to bias laws such as the draconian blasphemy laws". "Religious minority communities, including Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis, and Shi'a Muslims, also experience religiously motivated and sectarian violence perpetrated by terrorist organizations and societal elements with relative impunity".

"It is our responsibility, as Americans, to speak for those with no voice", he commented Thursday.

The chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ed Royce, (R-CA) said the redesignation of Myanmar as a country of particular concern is particularly appropriate, given its military's ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

"I think this is a reflection of the overall frustration of the United States with Pakistan", the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center director, Bharath Gopalaswamy, told VOA Thursday. "The Vietnamese people continue to have their religious freedom and other human rights violated".

It is interesting and welcome to note that in spite of the USA decision to permanently lift certain sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Sudan that were lifted conditionally by President Obama, Sudan remains (rightfully so) a Country of Particular Concern.



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