By Carey Lodge, Christian Today.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today released its 2016 report, and found that religious liberty has deteriorated around the world, with abuses committed by both state and non-state actors.
A number of countries are “plagued by extremism and religious freedom violations,” the report said.
“By any measure, religious freedom abroad has been under serious and sustained assault since the release of our commission’s last Annual Report in 2015,” the USCIRF said. “From the plight of new and longstanding prisoners of conscience, to the dramatic rise in the numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, to the continued acts of bigotry against Jews and Muslims in Europe … there was no shortage of attendant suffering worldwide.”
The report highlights religious freedom violations in more than 30 countries, including China, Sudan, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria.
The USCIRF recommended that the US State Department add eight more countries to its list of “countries of particular concern”, where “particularly severe violations of religious freedom are perpetuated or tolerated”.
Included in that list were Vietnam, Egypt and the Central African Republic.