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11/18/2011 United States (CSW) – Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) testified yesterday at a hearing in the US Congress on international religious freedom, providing evidence of continuing violations in Burma, Indonesia, North Korea, China and Vietnam.
 CSW’s East Asia Team Leader, Benedict Rogers, addressed the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, chaired by Congressman Christopher Smith, and highlighted the plight of Buddhist monks in prison in Burma, the Muslim Rohingyas facing persecution, and recent attacks on Kachin Christian churches. He also told the Committee that Burmese authorities in one township in Kachin State had introduced an order requiring Christians to seek permission to pray, fast, read the Bible or hold a Sunday school, 15 days in advance. He concluded, “There is some talk of change in Burma. However, as long as the regime holds Buddhist monks and other prisoners of conscience in jail, attacks civilians in the ethnic states, and violates religious freedom, the United States should maintain pressure and re-designate Burma a Country of Particular Concern.” 
Focusing on Indonesia, Benedict Rogers described attacks on the Ahmadiyya Muslim community and on Christian churches, and noted that “serious concerns exist over the rule of law”. He called on President Barack Obama to press the President of Indonesia to “uphold religious freedom and the rule of law” when he visits Indonesia over the next few days.
Mr Rogers described the complete absence of religious freedom in North Korea, and called for the establishment of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity in North Korea. He urged the United States to increase pressure on China to stop forcibly repatriating North Korean refugees, some of whom are Christians and who, when returned to North Korea, “face severe penalties and violations.” 

 Mr Rogers urged the US Congress to re-authorise the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and to continue its leading role in promoting religious freedom around the world.

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