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List Afghanistan as religious liberty violator, report urges US State Department

Afghanistan Kabul Shiite shrine

United StatesRNS The US Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that Afghanistan be added to the State Department’s list of worst religious freedom violators, citing the changes that resulted when the Taliban took control of the country last year. The federal panel said in its annual report released on Monday that the regime change has […]

Russia added to State Department list of worst religious liberty violators

Russia Moscow Red Square

RNS The US State Department has added Russia to its list of nations it considers among the world’s most egregious violators of religious freedom. Russia joins Myanmar (referred to as Burma on the list), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on the list of “countries of particular concern.” Nigeria, which was […]

List India as top religious freedom violator, says US watchdog group

USCIRF Report 2020

RNS India, which recently passed legislation that experts say is detrimental to Muslims, should be placed on the US Government’s list of most egregious religious freedom violators, a watchdog agency says in its new report. The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed in December by the Parliament in majority-Hindu India, violates religious freedom especially for Muslims, said the […]

China, two dozen other countries top USCIRF religious freedom offenders list

USCIRF 20190 graphic1

Washington, DCRNS With its particular focus on China’s oppression of religious and human rights, an independent watchdog group has decried in its annual report the state of religious freedom across the globe. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan organisation created 20 years ago, concludes in its Monday report that “innumerable believers and nonbelievers […]

US agency accuses Russia of abusing anti-extremism laws

World Watch Monitor Russia’s anti-extremism laws are being used to crack down on peaceful religious minorities such as Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Hare Krishnas, the top US religious-freedom watchdog says. A report commissioned by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom found that “vague and problematic definitions of ‘extremism’ in Russian law give the authorities […]

US installs Sam Brownback as religious freedom ambassador

Sam Brownback

World Watch Monitor Sam Brownback, the US’s new Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, in 2007. PICTURE: Gage Skidmore/licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0 The US Senate has confirmed Sam Brownback as the new head of the Office of International Religious Freedom. Mr Brownback is the first ambassador under the US’s revised International Religious Freedom Act, which […]