Monday, May 3, 2010

Annual report on religious freedom in the world released

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently announced its 2010 recommendations to Congress, the White House, and the State Department that 13 nations -- Burma, China, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam -- be named “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs.

“Over the past few months USCIRF has visited a number of human rights ‘hot spots’ where freedom of religion is obstructed and related human rights are trampled,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair.

USCIRF’s 2010 Annual Report documents serious abuses of freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief around the world. The report provides policy prescriptions for each nation on the CPC list.

Further, USCIRF announced that the following countries are on the 2010 USCIRF Watch List: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Venezuela.

While not rising to the statutory level set forth in IRFA requiring designation as a “country of particular concern,” watch list countries require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the governments.

To download the report, click here.

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