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ICC Note: It is extremely sad to think that 12 out of 20 countries where there is religious persecution are located in Asia . We must continue to pray for the many Christians there that we don’t even know about!

Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter

Asian Countries Dominate U.S. List of Religious Freedom Violators

9/17/06 Washington (Christian Post) The eighth annual U.S. International Religious Freedom Report 2006 saw a large proportion of Asian countries on the list of nations where religious freedom is of “significant interest.” In addition to the Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) in Asia designated by the Secretary of State in November 2005 – China , Burma , North Korea , and Vietnam – the report highlighted additional religious freedom violators in Asia and Central Asia: Brunei , Laos , India , Pakistan , Sri Lanka , Afghanistan , Uzbekistan , and Turkmenistan .
Overall, the report listed 20 countries including the eight CPCs or “severe” violators of religious freedom. Twelve of the 20 countries highlighted were in Asia or Central Asia .
The eight “countries of particular concern” consist of Burma , China , North Korea , Iran , Sudan , Eritrea , Saudi Arabia , and Vietnam .
“Religious freedom is deeply rooted in our principles and our history as a nation,” said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday according to the U.S. Department of State. “And it is now integral to our efforts to combat terrorism and the ideology of hatred that fuels it.”
The U.S. International Religious Freedom Report 2006 examined 197 countries and documents both actions of governments that repress and persecute believers as well as those that respect, protect, and promote religious freedom. Depending on negotiations, the United States may take actions such as sanctions or an agreement to a waiver towards countries designated as CPC.
Earlier this year, countries in Asia and Central Asia also dominated the top ten list for Open Doors’ World Watch List. The Christian persecution group ranked North Korea as the worst persecutor of Christians in the world with Bhutan , Vietnam , Laos , and China following close behind.

Christian Post