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-Re: USCIRF 2015 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom

by Dr. D ~ May 5th, 2015

2015 Annual Report

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2015 Annual Report on April 30. The report documents religious freedom violations around the world noting those countries in the last 12 months which were the most problematic when it comes to abusing religious liberty. A statement from USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett:

“Not a day goes by without at least one country from these lists appearing on the front page of a major newspaper.  Humanitarian crises fueled by waves of terror, intimidation and violence have engulfed an alarming number of countries over the past year.”

“With serious religious freedom violations occurring all around the world, these horrors speak volumes about how and why religious freedom and the protection of the rights of vulnerable religious communities matter.  All nations should care about abuses beyond their borders not only for humanitarian reasons but because what goes on in other nations rarely remains there.  In the long run, there is only one permanent guarantor of the safety, security and survival of the persecuted and vulnerable.  It is the full recognition of religious freedom.”

Here’s the 2015 list of the greatest offenders and countries of concern according to the USCIRF:

USCIRF, in its role as an independent U.S. federal government advisory body, recommends that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, where  particularly severe violations of religious freedom are perpetrated or tolerated.  These countries are:

USCIRF also recommends that the State Department redesignate as CPCs the following nine countries and take additional actions to promote religious freedom:

Along with recommending CPC designations, USCIRF also places 10 countries on its 2015 “Tier 2” list, a Commission designation for governments that engage in or tolerate violations that are serious but not CPC-level.   USCIRF urges increased U.S. government attention to the following countries:

The USCIRF Report also highlights religious freedom concerns in countries that do not meet Tier 1 (CPC) or Tier 2 thresholds, but should also be the focus of concern.  These countries are:

Response: We have seen nearly all of these same countries on previous lists. Note that Muslim dominated countries seem to always be among the greatest offenders along with countries which are either Communist or have been in the past.

Also note that the Obama administration does very little to promote religious liberty around the world and to date has paid very little attention to any of the recommendation made by this commission.             *Top

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