by Lauretta Brown, CNSnews:
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released their annual religious freedom report Monday and found that religious freedom worldwide “has been under serious and sustained assault” since their 2015 report.
“By any measure, religious freedom abroad has been under serious and sustained assault since the release of our commission’s last Annual Report in 2015,” the report said. “From the plight of new and longstanding prisoners of conscience, to the dramatic rise in the numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, to the continued acts of bigotry against Jews and Muslims in Europe, and to the other abuses detailed in this report, there was no shortage of attendant suffering worldwide.”
“Regrettably the situation is that things have not improved and in some places things have gotten worse.” USCIRF Chairman Robert George told reporters in a conference call about the report on Monday. “At best in most of the countries we cover, religious freedom conditions have failed to improve in any serious or demonstrable way. At worst, they’ve spiraled downward.”
The report once again pushes for the U.S. State Department to designate Pakistan as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), a recommendation it has made since 2002.
Pakistan’s “Religiously-discriminatory constitutional provisions and legislation, such as the country’s blasphemy law and anti-Ahmadiyya laws,” the report said, “intrinsically violate international standards of freedom of religion or belief and result in prosecutions and imprisonments.”
The recent Easter Sunday bombing in Lahore which killed 72 and injured 320, is just one example of the violence religious minorities have seen in Pakistan.
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