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State repression of religious freedom is often enacted under the guise of maintaining “public order” or “national security” concerns or both. A new report cited 28 nations for restrictions they placed on religious freedom. […] Read More

Religious freedom has continued to deteriorate in many nations over the past year, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) annual report for 2018 released on April 25. “This ongoing downward trend often intersected with authoritarian practices characterized by hostility toward dissent, pluralism, independent media and active civil society, or took place […] Read More

Laws against blasphemy remain “astonishingly widespread” around the world, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Such legislation is “detrimental to religious freedom,” often leads to human rights abuses, and most commonly is used against persons who hold minority perspectives. USCIRF defined blasphemy as “the act of expressing contempt or a lack […] Read More

Religious liberty restrictions were passed by the parliament of Burma (also known as Myanmar) on Aug. 21. The legislation, set forth by Buddhist monks and first drafted in late May, would increase government control over religious conversion. The proposal was initiated at the urging of a Buddhist organization connected to the 969 movement, the U.S. […] Read More

The intersection of humanitarian crises, conflicts and religious persecution was highlighted in a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). USCIRF “recommended that the United States designate all five of these nations – Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Burma – as ‘countries of particular concern'” (CPC). A CPC is […] Read More

Cursing the Darkness

The question came during a meeting of the newly formed U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The Commission had been established by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, and now, in its early stages, was feeling out the best way to pursue its congressional mandate. As discussion came around to the Commission’s approach, one […] Read More