Islamic nations among world’s worst violators of religious freedoms

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)– Of the 15 worst violators of religious freedom in the world, 10 are Islamic states.

Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Vietnam severely restrict religious activities by harassing individuals and groups for their beliefs; therefore they have been classified as “countries of particular concern” in the 2013 report by the Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The Commission is an independent advisory body that monitors abuses of religious freedom by identifying nations such as Egypt — whose transitional government has failed to protect religious minorities, usually Coptic Christians, from Islamic-inspired violence — as “governments that are the most egregious violators.”

Muslim-dominated Iraq was cited for tolerating “violent, religiously motivated attacks” and the Islamic Republic of Iran for “prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily, or entirely on the religion of the accused.” Iran often accuses converts to Christianity of crimes against state security.

Saudi Arabia suppresses all religious practices outside of its officially-sanctioned Wahhabism. The home of Islam prosecutes individuals for apostasy, blasphemy and even sorcery; it also interferes with the faiths of its guest workers.

Pakistan strictly enforces a controversial blasphemy law while failing to prosecute acts of sectarian violence by its Muslim majority against minority religions.

Religious freedoms in Sudan continue to suffer long after South Sudan seceded from President Bashir’s criminalization of apostasy and his government’s imposition of a strict interpretation of shari’a.

Nigeria was cited for its religious violence between the militant Muslims of Boko Harem and Christians living in the North; this violence is compounded by the government’s inability to stop the incessant sectarian attacks.

A second tier of dishonorable mention where the abuses of religious freedoms don’t meet all of the criteria to be ranked as countries of particular concern include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos and Russia.

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