By Bill Bumpas, OneNewsNow.com.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently released its 2015 annual report. USCIRF chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett says the world is seeing “very grave assaults on fundamental religious freedom” reaching “unprecedented levels particularly in the Middle East with the violent attacks by ISIS.” She outlines some of the human tragedies as a result of conflicts in which religion plays a key factor.
“In Iraq more than two million people have already been displaced internally due to ISIL’s offensive there,” she says. “In Syria more than six and a half million people are internally displaced, and over three million are refugees in neighboring countries. In Nigeria we have seen over a million people fleeing from the attacks of Boko Haram, and a million more people in the Central African Republic (CAR). The CAR have been driven from their homes due to sectarian violence.”
Swett also notes concern about “continued abusive application of blasphemy laws” in many countries that “egregiously violate the most basic notions of religious freedom.” She says the U.S. government needs to focus on ways to address threats brought by non-state actors such as ISIL and Boko Haram.