U.S. State Dept.: Religious Freedom Declines in Asia
The U.S. State Department's annual report on the state of religious freedom around the world showed that the situation of religious freedom is worsening in Asia: naming China, especially, but also including democratic India among numerous others.
9/22/08 Asia (Catholic.org) The situation of religious freedom in Asia is worsening, especially in China, but also in democratic India, according to the annual report of the U.S. State Department on religious freedom in the world.
The period before the Beijing Olympics also saw an increase of control over the media and persecution of any religious activity not sponsored by the state, with churches locked up, religious figures arrested or confined far from the Olympic cities, and believers from other countries expelled.
But the past year was also difficult for Asia as a whole, and saw a continuation of the systematic repression against religion in North Korea and Myanmar, where dictatorial governments want to block any form of dissent and possible opposition.
Aggression and violence by the Muslim majority against the minorities, especially Christian, have also continued in Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Indonesia (where many Christian churches and Ahmadi mosques have also been closed). In Laos, many local authorities have continued to persecute Christians, in part by seeking to "reeducate them".
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