US names China, N. Korea, Burma as violators of religious freedom

13-Dec-2018 Intellasia | Mainichi | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The United States has designated China, North Korea, Myanmar and seven other countries as violators of religious freedom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday.

President Donald Trump’s administration criticised the 10 “Countries of Particular Concern” for having engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing and egregious violations of religious freedom, Pompeo said in a statement.

The seven other countries are Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, according to the designations, which Pompeo made on November 28 under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Pompeo also put Comoros, Russia and Uzbekistan on a “Special Watch List” for governments that have engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom.

Pakistan was downgraded to a Country of Particular Concern from being on the Special Watch List last year, while Uzbekistan was no longer a Country of Particular Concern for the first time since 2006, according to a State Department official.

“In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests, or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” he said. “Protecting and promoting international religious freedom is a top foreign policy priority of the Trump administration.”


Category: Regional

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