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ICRF urges US Commission to Expand Its Focus PDF Print E-mail

Fefferman: Why not focus more on countries that listen?

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a federal government commission that monitors global religious freedom, has just released its 2012 Annual Report on the state of religious freedom around the world.  The report recommended that Secretary of State Clinton name the following nations “countries of particular concern” or CPCs: Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.*

USCIRF also announced that the following countries are on its 2012 Watch List: Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, and Venezuela. Watch List countries, according to USCIRF, "require close monitoring due to the nature and extent of religious freedom violations these governments have engaged in or tolerated."

ICRF, which reports on religious freedom in more than 90 countries worldwide, has encouraged the USCIRF to expand its report to stress not only countries of particular concern, but also those nations which are more likely to respond to outside influence.

"Why not increase coverage of those nations whose violations are not so egregious but which actually listen to the United States?" said ICRF president Dan Fefferman. "Countries like Kazakstan, Austria and Japan, for example, should not get a free pass from USCIRF," said Fefferman.

The report can be found here