US Commission on International Religious Freedom publishes annual report, lists worst violators

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Monday published its annual report on the state of religious freedom around the world, listing those nations which it found to be the worst violators of such freedom, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

The USCIRF recommended that 14 countries – Algeria, Burma, Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan – be designated as Countries of Particular Concern. The US State Department had already flagged these countries as nations to watch.

The USCIRF went on to recommend CPC designation for Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, Syria, and Vietnam as well, ICC reports. Notably, the USCIRF and other religious rights groups have repeatedly raised the alarm about Nigeria and India, requesting that the State Department give these countries CPC status – so far to no avail, ICC reports. The issue caused the USCIRF to express its “tremendous disappointment” at this in its new report.

The USIRF also recommended Special Watch List (SWL) designation for Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Uzbekistan, ICC said.

“This is an impressive body of work released annually by USCIRF,” International Christian Concern (ICC) President Jeff King said in a statement. “We so appreciate USCIRF’s efforts to bring likeminded agencies, groups, and governments together to tackle religious persecution hotspots globally. We are baffled at how bad state actors such as India and Nigeria can escape CPC designation by the State Department. USCIRF’s well-documented report – and our own reports and findings – highlights the atrocities taking place in those countries.”

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