2020 report on international religious freedom identifies 14 countries of particular concern

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Religious persecution is an unfortunate reality around the world. That's why the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent, bi-partisan entity, published its 2020 annual report of religious freedom and persecution, this year identifying 14 countries of particular concern.

Director of Advocacy For Global Religious Freedom, ADF International
“The worst countries in the report include North Korea, Iran, China, Pakistan: those places where it's very difficult to practice one's faith, especially for religious minority groups, including Christians.”

The report indicates that countries like Uzbekistan have seen improvements in terms of the degree of freedom enjoyed by religious groups. Another such country is Sudan.

Director of Advocacy For Global Religious Freedom, ADF International
“They have repealed certain laws that were used against women who didn't adhere to particular versions of Sunni Islam, and the government has even expressed interest in revising or even repealing its very strict apostasy and blasphemy laws, which have been used for many years to really persecute a lot of religious minorities.”

Countries like Burma, India and China have seen either no improvement or a deterioration in their situations. According to USCIRF's 2019 report, for instance, millions of Uighur Muslims in China were being detained.

Director of Advocacy For Global Religious Freedom, ADF International
“Now it looks like many of those who were detained are being transitioned to forced-labor camps. Elsewhere in China, you have the Communist party shutting down Catholic and Protestant churches, arresting pastors, arresting congregants, and it just seems that the Chinese government does not tolerate the recognition of an authority above the government.”

Despite the widespread persecution of, not only Christians, but Muslims and, increasingly, Jews, in many parts of the world, all hope is not lost, as, according to Zorzi, there is “a growing global movement in support of international religious freedom.”


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