ICC Note: An annual report released by the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) indicates that two-thirds of the world’s top persecutors of Christians and other religious minorities are in Muslim countries. The 15 most intolerant countries identified in the report are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tasjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Of these, ten are Muslim countries, the Christian Post reports.
By Bethany Blankley
5/7/2013 Middle East (Christian Post) – Ten out of the 15 countries with the worst religious freedom abuses are Muslim nations, according to the recently released U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) 2013 Annual Report, which identifies the status of religious freedom throughout the world, and cites countries that are the least tolerant of religious freedom.
The 15 most intolerant countries, identified as "countries of particular concern" (CPCs), cited in this year's report are: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tasjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Of these, ten are Muslim countries.
The nearly 400-page report details a range of human rights violations occurring in these countries.
For example, in Egypt, the government has failed to protect Coptic Christians, who comprise 10 percent of the country's 90 million people. The Copts have been tortured and killed and individuals continue to be prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for "contempt" or "defamation" of religion (Islam).
In Iran, religious freedom has deteriorated over the last year for minorities, such as the Baha'is, Christians, and Sufi Muslims. The Report details that, "physical attacks, harassment, detention, arrests, and imprisonment" intensified. Jews, Armenian and Assyrian Christians, and Zoroastrians – have faced harassment, intimidation, discrimination, arrests, and imprisonment. Anyone who has dissented against the government, a theocratic republic, including Majority Shi'i and minority Sunni Muslims, have been intimidated, harassed, and detained. Several dissidents and human rights defenders have been sentenced to death and executed for "waging war against God."