17 November 2010, Washington D.C.
The United States Department of State has issued its International Freedom Report for 2010, documenting the status of religious freedom during the period from July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010. “The Report’s primary focus is on the actions of governments, both official actions that contribute to religious repression or tolerate violence against religious communities, and actions that protect and promote religious freedom. Each country report contains sections covering the country’s religious demography; government respect for religious freedom (including the legal and policy framework, restrictions on religious freedom, abuses of religious freedom, and improvements and positive developments); societal respect for religious freedom; and U.S. government policy and actions” (Executive Summary).
The Report’s Executive Summary highlights noteworthy activity – violations, improvements, positive developments – in Afghanistan, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea (DPRK), Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
The report noted the opposition of the United States to the re-introduction again this year by “a number of states with majority or significant Muslim populations” of a resolution before the United Nations to advance the concept of “defamation of religions.” Noting that “the United States deplores actions that exhibit disrespect for deeply held religious beliefs, including those of Muslims,” it asserts that “we do not agree with the ‘defamation of religions’ concept because it can be used to undermine the fundamental freedoms of religion and expression.”
To see remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Assistant Secretary Michael H. Posner, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, please click the links below.