Which Nations Oppose Religious Freedom?

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has identified several nations which should be included in the list of countries in which religious freedom is not the norm. The Commission urged the State Department to add Vietnam, Pakistan and Turkmenistan to the list which already includes Indonesia , Myanmar and North Korea. The 10 member group was divided wheter to downgrade the predominantly Muslim Iraq to the blacklist due to reports of extensive discrimination and terror against Christian Iraqis. Although Vietnam is being added, the State Department did acknowledge the Vietnamese government has taken positive steps and is moving in the direction of more religious freedom.

The Commission did not find any evidence that Pakistan is moving towards religious freedom despte a free election in which moderate Muslims assume control of parliament and the government. “Despite the dramatic events in Paklstan in the past year, the commission finds that all of the serious religous freedom concerns, includng violence, on which the government has previously reportd, persist.”

It is surprising that Iraq is not on the list, given the fact about half the Christian Iraqi population has fled in terror and those remaining are confronted with constant religious persecution.