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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

US Report Lists Religious-Freedom Troubles Worldwide



An annual report on religious freedom throughout the world, released by the US State Department, "sends a signal to the worst offenders that the world is watching,” according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But a former State Department official charges that the Obama administration has done little to promote religious freedom. 

Thomas Farr, the director of Georgetown’s Religious Freedom project and a former director of the State Department office, said that while the report lists various “dialogues” with representatives of other governments, “there is very little evidence of a unified US strategy to advance religious freedom.” The State Department report lists 8 “countries of particular concern” on the issue of religious freedom: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. (The same 8 countries composed the same list for last year’s report.) The report notes that the “Arab Spring” protests raised expectations of greater freedom in some countries, notably in Egypt, but subsequent developments have shown that religious minorities still face grave dangers. 



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