U.S. Religious Freedom Report Finds ‘Worsening’ Conditions Worldwide

Photo Credit: Yejun Kim FI

WASHINGTON — An annual government report outlining the state of affairs for religious freedom across the globe has found “worsening” conditions worldwide, and urges the U.S. Department of State to designate 16 nations as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC).

“Overall, the Commission has concluded that the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations,” said U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chairman Thomas Reese in a statement.

“The blatant assaults have become so frightening—attempted genocide, the slaughter of innocents, and wholesale destruction of places of worship—that less egregious abuses go unnoticed or at least unappreciated. Many observers have become numb to violations of  the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion,” the Commission’s report also outlined.

USCIRF has determined that six additional countries meet the criteria for the CPC list, which for years has already included Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. This year, it was requested that the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria and Vietnam also be listed as countries of concern.

In Nigeria, “Christian leaders in the northern states continued to report to USCIRF that state governments discriminate against Christians by denying applications to build or repair places of worship, access to education, representation in government bodies, and employment. They also reported that Christian girls are abducted by Muslim men to be brides,” the report explained.

It noted that the Islamic terror group Boko Haram often forces Christians to convert or die, and that two Nigerian women were killed by angry mobs last year after being accused of blasphemy.

The Commission outlined that similarly, it is illegal in Pakistan to defile the Koran or to blaspheme the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Those who violate the law suffer devastating consequences.

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“In January 2017, an antiterrorism court acquitted more than 100 suspects accused of participating in the January 2013 attack on Joseph Colony, a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Punjab Province. The attack was sparked when a Christian resident was accused of blasphemy. A mob of approximately 3,000 individuals destroyed more than 150 Christian homes, Christian businesses, and two churches, and forced hundreds of Christian families to flee,” it stated, lamenting that none have yet been charged for the crime.

And while officials in Vietnam have taken steps to improve religious liberty in the nation, “USCIRF received a report that in one incident, authorities arrested at least seven Montagnard Christians from the Central Highlands after police reportedly instructed the individuals to stop believing in God.”

USCIRF believes that Russia should additionally be designated a CPC as its Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses activities in the country last month in its crackdown on extremism. Additionally, in July, under the guise of combatting terrorism, Russian officials outlawed “missionary activities,” such as public preaching, one-on-one witnessing and the distribution of tracts.

“Over time, the Russian government has come to treat the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church (MPROC) as a de facto state church, strongly favoring it in various areas of state sponsorship, including subsidies, the education system, and military chaplaincies,” its report outlined. “This favoritism has fostered a climate of hostility toward other religions.”

It noted that 53 individuals or groups have been prosecuted for violating the missionary ban since it went into effect, 43 of whom were non-Orthodox.

The Commission requests that both Congress and the Trump administration continually speak up about religious freedom abuses around the world, both in public and in private meetings.

“You cannot have religious freedom without the freedom of worship, the freedom of association, the freedom of expression and opinion, the freedom of assembly, protection from arbitrary arrest and detention, [and] protection from interference in home and family. And you cannot have religious freedom without equal protection under the law. And on it goes,” the report states.

“Religious freedom, at its core, is the right of individuals and communities to manifest their religion or belief, and is a basic human right. Protecting that right falls to each and every one of us, requiring people from all countries, political views, and faiths to come together to fight religious persecution and work to protect religious freedom for all.”

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  • Amos Moses

    The most difficult place in the entire world to preach the actual and true scriptures …….. is right here in the united States ……………………

    • bowie1

      Mostly it is nuisance lawsuits and the threat thereof.

      • Amos Moses

        mostly it is an heretical “gospel” taught about easy grace and prosperity that the people are deceived by ……… that we do not have to be concerned about sin and so it is ignored …… and the weightier matters of the law are cast aside as just a bunch of rules …..

      • Amos Moses

        Why it is more difficult here …….

        Modern Preacher: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He can fix your life, your marriage, your finances, your self esteem.

        Sinner: WHAT, GOD LOVES ME …. thats fantastic, I love me too … THIS IS WONDERFUL …. And you are saying He loves me more than I love me? Now, that sounds impossible. How could anyone have such a great love. AND GOD HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR MY LIFE ….. I have a wonderful plan for my life, too. And you are telling me if I accept this Jesus He will help me with all my wonderful plans? And I can have my best life NOW?

        Modern Preacher: Yes ……..

        Sinner: Wow, that really is a wonderful god, I like a god like that, You got two of them …..

        -Paul Washer

    • Colin Rafferty

      It’s amusing that your comment in an article talking about people literally being jailed or murdered for their beliefs, you think that the US is a problem because people mock you.

      • Amos Moses

        i do not care if people mock me ….. they mocked Christ on His way to the cross ……… nothing new there ………. but you have to wonder about the hearts of those that mocked a person on His way to be executed ………… BTW ….. Christ said this would be so ………

        5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
        5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
        5:40 And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
        5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
        5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

        • Colin Rafferty

          Yes, you and Christ. I can’t even tell you apart.

          • Amos Moses

            interesting ….. because if we are in Christ ….. when God looks at us ….. all He sees is His son, Christ ……. thnx ………….

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I can’t tell you and Honest Lawyer apart either. Maybe because you answer each other’s questions.

      • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        Yet you call it “persecution” if a homosexual can’t get a cuppycake with a wedding slogan on it.

        • Colin Rafferty

          Actually, you haven’t even read what I said. I think that the print shop that refused to write the content that he didn’t approve of was acting completely within his rights. So if someone wants some particular slogan written on something, they have to find someone willing to write that slogan.

          On the other hand, if someone is being refused service just because of who they are, that’s persecution.

          But in the context of this particular thread, Amos Moses is actually equating Pastors being killed to some imaginary inability to preach in the US.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            He’s equating persecution with persecution, which is valid.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Except pastors in the US aren’t even being persecuted.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You just denied your previous statement. There are different levels of persecution. The Holocaust started with Jews getting their shops vandalized.

          • Colin Rafferty

            That’s irrelevant. Pastors in the US are not being persecuted.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            It’s relevant because it shows there are different levels of persecution, yet all are persecution. US pastors and Christians are most definitely being persecuted. In fact, you’re persecuting Christians right here, right now, and you know you’re doing it too.

          • Colin Rafferty

            No, pastors are not being persecuted in the US. And you think that I’m persecuting you. Because I’m telling you that you are wrong, or because I am being mean?

            Waaah!, someone is talking mean to me. I’m being persecuted just like the Jews in Auschwitz!

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            So you mean that when someone quotes something to a homosexual, that homosexual can’t be experiencing persecution? Thanks for admitting that. And refusing to write a slogan on a cuppycake also isn’t persecution? Good! More admission from you.

            Remember, Kristallnacht had to happen before Auschwitz did.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Yes, and when the government is smashing churches, then that is persecution. But right now there is none. None. None. I’m certainly not persecuting you.

            I think you have a persecution complex.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            So if homosexuals aren’t getting thrown off buildings, it’s a persecution complex to complain about anything else? Gotcha.

          • Colin Rafferty

            Nope. I’m saying that I’m not persecuting you in the first place. If so, I’d love to know how I’m doing it. But you’ll never say how, you’ll just pretend you already told me how.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Now you’re intentionally playing obtuse just like abusive husbands claim abuse is all the injured spouses’ fault. Show a little more sincerity and honesty than that.

            You have come onto a Christian website with the intent of disrupting posting and harassing Christians. Were a Christian to go to, let’s say, a homosexual site and follow members around, harassing them, having a combative attitude, you would call it persecution. You think a baker not making a cuppycake with a slogan on it for a same sex union is persecution, yet here you are, doing worse and pretending it’s benign.

          • Colin Rafferty

            As was fortold, you do not provide an example of harassment or persecution. I never harass people for their religion. I discuss politics and law. If the law is not on the side of your religion, that is not my fault.

            Okay, maybe I did once mock Amos Moses for comparing himself to Christ. But you have to allow that.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            You are being insincere. One need to only read your obsessive amount of posts to see what you’re doing. Why spend such an inordinate amount of time on a Christian website if you’re not a Christian and not here for intelligent discourse?

          • Parodyx

            No, that’s nonsense. What is happening is people are standing up to you when you try to use your faith to oppress them, and you don’t like it, and so you scream “persecution” hoping that we will leave you free to persecute.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Great soundbite, Paropedo, but it is Christians who are persecuted, and that is reality. You’re part of the problem. You are a persecutor and you are victim blaming/shaming. Shame on you!

          • Parodyx

            So the guy who likes to call innocent people pedophiles is playing a Christian persecution card? Can you tell me again how you’re NOT a troll?

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Dude, I hope the mod looks at your name, your avatar, and the FBI list for pedo symbols. You know what you’re doing, and you think the mods are too stupid to detect it. It’s your big joke on a Christian website.

          • Parodyx

            You are trying so hard to make my avatar out to be something that it isn’t, I have spoken out extensively on the subject of pedophilia, and you know I am not one, so why are you continuing to push the ridiculous game? The avatar is a visual pun on my name and that is obvious. The mods aren’t going to do anything because the avatar is innocent. You have already been shown that the FBI list shows nothing remotely like what you claim.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Dude, your name and your avatar go together to form a pedo message. I hope the mods research what I’ve posted and see that it’s so.

          • Parodyx

            Tell you what, “dude”, if you want to show that you’re not trolling, explain what a picture of two hot dogs has to do with illegal, illicit sex with children, and while you’re at it, how you’re managing to get a pedophile-friendly message out of the name “Parodyx”. Tell me where you would like the mods to go to get this idea that doesn’t exist anywhere but in your own imagination.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I already have posted about it, but let me repeat it for those who haven’t read it before:

            The FBI has stated that pedophiles use the secret symbol of hot dogs to signify pedophilia requests for sex with small boys. You have an avatar of two hot dogs nestled together – possibly no big deal -but then you have a name that refers crudely to the hot dogs as being part of male anatomy. Put the two together, and it’s a pedo’s haven. You have serious, serious issues. I hope that you get investigated by Trump’s pedo-busting administration. He’s already caught a number record of pedophiles in a few short months, more than Obama did in his 8 years.

          • Parodyx

            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but calling out every single lie you post isn’t just something I do but something g I enjoy.

            Point one, even if such a list existed, practically no one would know about it.

            Point two, using your logic, anyone who didn’t have a clue about your list could choose a hot dog avatar – yes, even if they were making a phsllic joke about it – and be called a pedophile by you which defies logic no matter how you slice it.

            Point three, anyone who was using a picture to lure children for any reason woul likelynot do so on a forum where religion is discussed pretty much exclusively by adults. It would be like trying to see ice cubes to an Eskimo.

            Point four, anyone who knows me here knows that I am constantly defending homosexuals against comparisons to the odious practice of sexually abusing children. In other words, the most colossal moron could tell you I’m very strongly anti-pedophilia.

            And because you’re a troll and because I have just destroyed everything about your pathetic excuse for an accusation, you’re now going to post a smiley, ignore everything I’ve said, and continue to call me a pedophile, fine…I will report you every time you do.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            If you’re following me around because you think I’m a 6 year old boy, think again. Meanwhile, I hope the mods Google what I’ve said and that they pay careful attention to your handle.

          • Parodyx

            Flagged for calling me a pedophile.

          • Guest✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            I didn’t call you a pedophile. I did note your avatar and name are pedophile symbols and you know it.

          • Parodyx

            No one knows it. Because why would they.

            Hey, did you know that in the ancient Mayan culture, a menorah is code for a white supremacist? It’s true! I read it online! Nice avatar by the way. Got something you want to get off your chest, Adolf?

          • FBI list:
            “hotdog” = boy

            “pizza” = girl

            “cheese” = little girl

            “pasta” = little boy

            “ice cream” = male prostitute

            “walnut” = person of colour

            “map” = semen

            “sauce” = orgy

            You’re a pedophile.

          • Parodyx

            Total nonsense. Flagged.

          • I copied that from the FBI files but keep lying. I’ve been flagging you for awhile now.

          • Parodyx

            Hasn’t done much, has it? 🙂

            Maybe because my posts don’t break any rules? You think about that now, and run along and play.

            Sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog, sonny. Don’t go looking for hidden meanings in everything.

          • Sometimes a hot dog is just a hot dog but not with a name like yours. You should have just stuck to Oshtur.

          • Parodyx

            The name in no way suggests children. You are trolling. You lose.

          • The picture does. The name just emphasizes that. Pervert.

          • Parodyx

            I am not a pervert and have done nothing to be called one. If you want to try to sell the mods on your conspiracy theory feel free. It’s obvious trolling and your baseless name calling which goes against the rules here has been flagged. Keep it up.

          • You can flag my posts all you want, but you can’t flag search engines that prove I’m right.

          • Parodyx

            Who would even take the time to look such a thing up online unless they were very interested in the subject of pedophilia to begin with? Hmmmmm.

          • It was in the news. No need to look it up.

          • Parodyx

            And gee, people continue to innocently eat hot dogs and post pictures of them, and none of them are pedophiles.

  • Amos Moses

    “We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.”
    – A. W. Tozer

    Christ is not here to play “Lets Make a Deal” …………. He is not here to beg us to join Him ….. He made no “alter calls” to gain support and followers …… it was accept the truth or do not …… accept life or death …….. there is no middle ground ……….. there is no third way …. there is no other path but through Him …………….

  • Amos Moses

    “You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.”
    ― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    If the American Christians stand up against the nation’s tyrannical immorality, that encourages the global Christians everywhere. Christians pray for one another and work together to obey the Lord Jesus.

  • At least one Christian per hour is slaughtered for his/her faith.

    • Parodyx