US designates Pakistan and China as countries of particular concern for violation of religious freedom

The United States has designated several nations, including Pakistan, China, Iran, North Korea and Myanmar as countries of particular concern for violation of religious freedom. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also announced to place Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated severe violations of religious freedom.

The US has also designated al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Greater Sahara, ISIS-West Africa, Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin and the Taliban as ‘Entities of Particular Concern’.

Asserting that the United States will not waiver in its commitment to advocate for freedom of religion or belief for all and in every country, Blinken said the challenges to religious freedom in the world today are structural, systemic, and deeply entrenched. He said, the US remains committed to working with governments, civil society organisations, and members of religious communities to advance religious freedom around the world and address the plight of individuals and communities facing abuse, harassment, and discrimination on account of what they believe, or what they do not believe.

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