Dawn: The reports of a Sudanese woman being sentenced to death for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery have received worldwide condemnation.
Her case is indicative of a worldwide rise in persecutions of people in the name of religion. In this regard the US State Department has been tracking the ‘religious freedom’ of people across the globe in compliance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
The latest annual report to Congress lists the eight countries of ‘particular concern’ that are “considered to commit particularly severe violations of religious freedom” the report reads.
Below are excerpts from the report of the ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ (CPC):
- Burma: The constitution and other laws and policies restrict religious freedom and in practice the government enforced those restrictions. The reports also says Theravada Buddhism is given religious preference over other religions especially certain ethnic minority populations. The government implemented considerable political reforms, but the trend in the government’s respect for religious freedom did not change significantly during the year.
- China: Initially brought to list of countries of particular concern in 1999, China re-emerged on the list in 2011. The government’s respect for religious freedom declined during the year, particularly in Tibetan areas and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice. It continued to strictly regulate the religious activities of Uighur Muslims.
- Eritrea: The government only partially implemented constitutional provisions for religious freedom, and did so only for the four officially registered religious groups: the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea, over which it still retained influence. The government continued to detain members of unregistered religious groups, although there were reportedly fewer such detentions than in 2011.
Categories: Europe and Australia