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U.S. Releases International Religious Freedom Report

The U.S. Department of State recently released its annual report on International Religious Freedom (IRF). The report uncovers the many attacks against people of faith in our world today, according to World Religion News. Conducted from January 1 to December 31, 2017, the IRF report evaluates the situation of how each country exercises religious freedom. This year’s document highlights the human rights violations and abuses such as the illegal detention of religious leaders in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran. The report noted that the Rohingya and the Kachin people in Myanmar are always persecuted for their faith, reports Crux Now. The government of Eritrea “reportedly killed, arrested, and tortured religious adherents and coerced individuals into renouncing their faith.” In Turkmenistan, religious groups must register with the government before they can practice their faith.

“One person’s bondage is another person’s burden to break,” said Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback.

Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback said everyone has “a stake in this fight” for religious liberty. In a news conference on May 29, 2018, he said, “One person’s bondage is another person’s burden to break.” He added that, “We’re all people with beautiful and undeniable human dignity. Our lives are sacred. Our right to choose the road our conscience takes is inalienable.” Following the release of the IRF report, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will host the first meeting on advancing religious freedom in the world on July 25-26 in Washington. The meeting aims to gather government leaders and representatives of religious organizations and civil society to “break new ground.” “It will not just be a discussion group. It will be about action,” said Pompeo. Sources: World Religion News Crux Now

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