US Secretary of State Antony Blinken  |  Photo Credits: AP, File Image
Washington : The US State Department has released a list of ‘Countries of Particular Concern’ for countries that violate religious freedom, which includes China and Pakistan as well as several countries. In this list, 10 countries including Pakistan, China as well as Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Myanmar have been included. These are countries that do not meet the standards of the American International Religious Freedom Act. The US releases a list of such countries and organizations every year.
Algeria, Comoros, Cuba and Nicaragua have been placed on a special watch list in the latest list released by the US State Department for violation of religious freedom. These countries are accused of serious violations of religious freedom. US lists al-Shabab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimeen and Taliban as ‘Entities of Particular Concern’ Is.
What did Foreign Minister Antony Blinken say?
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken released this list on Wednesday and said that his country is committed to advocating religious freedom in every country of the world. He said, ‘We have found that in many countries of the world, their governments harass people, put them in jail and even beat them for living their lives according to their beliefs. The US administration supports the right of everyone around the world to freedom of religion.
He said the challenges to religious freedom in the world today are structural and systematic. They are present in every country. This needs immediate attention of the international community. He said the US would continue to pressure all governments of the world to address the shortcomings in their laws and practices.