Written by Don Byrd
As required by Congress, the U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on the status of religious freedom around the world. In his Preface to the report, which covers nearly 200 countries, Secretary Tillerson emphasized the role of the terrorist group ISIS in threatening religious freedom.
Here is an excerpt from those remarks:
America’s promotion of international religious freedom demands standing up for the rights of the world’s most vulnerable populations. ISIS’ brutal treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East has drawn a great degree of attention over the last few years. The 2016 Annual Report details these atrocities.
ISIS has and continues to target members of multiple religions and ethnicities for rape, kidnapping, enslavement, and death. ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in areas it controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities. The protection of these groups – and others who are targets of violent extremism – remains a human rights priority for the Trump Administration.
Tillerson says that nearly “80% of the global population live with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion,” according to CNN.
The report is very reader-friendly, if you know what you are interested in. It is searchable online by country or region. Select countries or regions and compile a custom report.