The Latest Religious Freedom Report Provides Dire Review

Oppression isn’t just striking Muslims

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued its latest report about religious freedom in the United States, and the results are less than stellar. This report is published every year on May 1 and has been since 1999. This year marks 20 years since the initial report, and the results are not promising.

The report comes in the aftermath of several different violent attacks on religious groups of all kinds including the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, and various synagogues in the United States, the last less than a week ago.

The latest report has mentioned 16 different countries throughout the world that are involved directly or are at least allowing egregious violations to take place within their borders. One of the countries that have appeared prominently on the list is China since the country is actively jailing and oppressing Uighurs, a Muslim minority in the country.

The oppression isn’t just striking Muslims in the country. Christian churches and temples housing Tibetan monks are being raided and watched by the state, hinting at a crackdown that could come down.

Russia is another country that is having a lot of crackdowns in religious liberty, especially the Jehova’s Witnesses. The land has been seized, and prominent figures have been jailed in relation to this church. Officially, the entire religious group was outlawed throughout Russia back in 2017, but there are still many people who are openly living as Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Other major nations that appeared on the list are Myanmar which is oppressing Muslims using horrific measures that are closer to genocide. The Rohingya Muslims are victims of mass rapes, murder, and torture that are significantly affecting the numbers of people. Aid cannot even get into the area, and reports from the affected places are going be defeated before they can be issued.

These are not the only places where religious oppression is being seen. Countries like Pakistan, Syria, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia are all on the list of problematic countries that have been identified. Now, the United States is working to gather information so that a more detailed report can be issued. However, it is unknown whether U.S. policy is going to have a greater impact this year than in years past, but many are hoping that will be the case in some of the most affected areas.

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