CBN News | Jennifer Wishon | Sept. 22, 2019
WASHINGTON – Religious persecution plagues countries around the world and the problem is only getting worse. A report published this year by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) gives us a clear picture of the world’s top offenders.
Burma, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are where people of faith face the most aggressive and violent forms of persecution.
Gary Bauer, one of the nine commissioners on USCIRF, is particularly concerned about China’s inclusion on the list because of the influence it wields.
“So here’s a rising power. It’s economy is growing bigger and bigger each year, its military is expanding. It’s got worldwide ambitions and every place it reaches it’s bringing these values of persecution along with them,” he tells CBN News.
So called “tier two” countries of concern include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and America’s NATO ally Turkey.
Turkey, of course, made international headlines for holding American Pastor Andrew Brunson hostage for nearly two years before releasing him last fall.
“One of the things the commission is really focused on is not only when there are governments perpetrating violence but when governments are tolerating the perpetration of violence,” USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava told CBN News after release of the report.