State Dept. Report Says Countries Have Repressed Religious Freedom With Laws

Source: NY Times

By STEVEN LEE MYERS

WASHINGTON — Countries around the world, including allies of the United States, have used laws on blasphemy and apostasy to suppress political opponents, the State Department said on Monday in an annual report chronicling a grim decline in religious freedom that has resulted in rising bigotry and sectarian violence.

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“Excerpt from the report: In Pakistan, the law prohibits Ahmadi Muslims from identifying themselves as Muslims or risk imprisonment for up to three years and a fine. Those wishing to be listed as Muslims on their national identity card, which is needed to vote, must swear their belief that the Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet, and denounce the Ahmadi Muslim movement’s founder as a false prophet and his followers as non-Muslim. This provision prevents Ahmadi Muslims from obtaining legal documents and puts pressure on members of the community to deny their beliefs to enjoy citizenship rights, including the right to vote.”

 

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