Earlier today I wrote about the increasing persecution of Christians -- and Muslims and Buddhists -- in Communist China. See "Religious freedom guaranteed by Communist China's constitution? LMAO!" But China is not the only country whose government is out to get believers.
In its newly released annual report for 1914, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) urges the State Department to designate (or redesignate) 15 nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because they are places “where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated.”
Here's the USCIRF list, in alphabetical order, with notes from Walt on who's persecuting whom.
CPCs -- Countries of Particular Concern
Burma - Buddhist majority would like to drive Muslim and Hindu minorities out of the country entirely.
China - No discrimination, persecutes all religions. Follow the link above.
Egypt - Cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood at the moment, but Coptic Christians are a much persecuted minority.
Eritrea - The Eritrean government tolerates Orthodox, Catholics, Lutherans and Muslims, but has cracked down in the last decade on evangelical Protestants. "In Eritrea, 'Persecution greater than ever and getting worse'"
Iran - The Ayatollahs are still in charge. No infidels allowed.
Iraq - Like Iran except that the Muslims are killing each other, with Christians caught in the middle. See "'We are a ruined church': Patriarch Sako talks about Christianity in Iraq"
Nigeria - "Boko haram". Virtual civil war between the militant Islamists in the north and the somewhat Christian south.
North Korea - Worse than China.
Pakistan - Kill anyone who dares to blaspheme against the Prophet.
Saudi Arabia - Worse than Iran.
Sudan - Another Islamic state. Christians should refugee to strife-torn South Sudan PDQ.
Syria - Worse than Iraq, even without the "help" of America.
Tajikistan - No. 44 (only) on the OpenDoors watch list of countries that persecute Christians.
Turkmenistan - See Tajikistan (above) or Uzbekistan (below). All the "Stans" are the same -- no place for infidels.
Uzbekistan - Human Rights Watch said in its 2013 World Report authorities "persecute religious believers who worship outside strict state controls". Yes, even Muslims.
Vietnam - Like China, only smaller, and with no to worry about. Like Cuba in struggling to suppress the Catholic Church.
"Governments that engage in or tolerate violations that are serious, but which are not CPC-level violators"
Afghanistan - No comment necessary.
Azerbaijan - Another state where all citizens are theoretically free to choose their religion. In practice the government -- like those of China and Eritrea -- maintains many Soviet-era controls over religion. 90% of the people are non-observant Muslims.
Cuba - Communist government hasn't been able to extinguish the deep Catholic Faith of the people, but the Church is far from free.
India - Supposedly a secular state, but violence by Hindu extremists against Muslims and (especially) Christians goes unpunished.
Indonesia - World's biggest Muslim nation (by population), with Sharia law being promoted in some places (like Aceh province) and ongoing violence against Christians.
Kazakhstan - Another "Stan"; see Pakistan, Tajikistan, etc.
Laos - Majority Buddhist population. Government doesn't mind Catholics, but seeks to control incursions by Protestant missionaries. Malaysia - Very Muslim, but Christians aren't killed so much as locked up if they don't follow Islamic laws and customs. For instance, a Christian who dares to say "Allah" could do some jail time.
Russia - Probably on the list because the USA doesn't like the Putin government. Orthodox Christianity is the established religion -- antagonism to Catholicism lurks below the surface -- but it's really the Protestants who are targeted.
Turkey - Officially a secular state, becoming more and more Islamic in practice.
Countries which persecute religious minorities but somehow got left off the USCIRF list
Israel - Even John Kerry knows it's a de facto "apartheid state".
United States of America - Where the secular humanists who run the media and the so-called administration of President Hussein Obama are trying harder than ever to restrict or eliminate entirely the freedom of Christians -- especially Catholics and evangelical Protestants -- to live their lives in accordance with their religious convictions. Or, we might say, to obey God rather than the godless.
Freedom of religion is enshrined in the United States constitution. Just like that of Communist China.