Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT) August 15, 2017
Washington (CNN)The State Department’s annual report on international religious freedom was highly critical of a number of countries, including China and Saudi Arabia, a key US ally.
“Many governments around the world used discriminatory laws to deny their citizens freedom of religion or belief,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, speaking in the agency’s Treaty Room. “No one should have to live in fear, worship in secret, face discrimination because of their beliefs.”
The report found that in 2016, China continued to physically abuse, detain, arrest, torture and imprison Tibetan Buddhists, Christians and other religious minorities.
One Christian pastor was buried alive for trying to stop officials from demolishing his church, the report said, while three Tibetans set themselves on fire to protest China’s ongoing repression.