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US report lists religious-freedom troubles worldwide

Catholic World News - July 31, 2012

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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  • Posted by: Justin8110 - Jul. 31, 2012 4:53 PM ET USA

    From the pluralist secularist standpoint we already have "religious freedom" here in the USA. What is meant by "religious freedom" is the freedom of individuals to believe whatever they want about anything at all so long as it stays out of education, politics and business. In short "religious freedom" means we can be Catholics in private but we cannot allow our Faith to influence the way we educate or kids, govern our nation or run our business. This is unacceptable.

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