2007 Report on International Religious Freedom

19 09 2007

URL: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/. From remarks of John V. Hanford III, Ambassador at Large for International Religious. “Because of efforts documented in this report, as well as the efforts of many brave advocates for religious freedom around the world, we have seen significant progress this year toward reducing persecution and discrimination. We are pleased to be able to cite these improvements for many of the countries covered in the report. Sadly, however, our work is not done, as far too many citizens of the world do not enjoy religious freedom. In the case of China, U.S. officials, including President Bush, Secretary Rice and Deputy Secretary Negroponte, made a concerted effort to encourage greater religious freedom, condemning abuses while supporting positive trends. We continue to express our concern over the government’s treatment of religious minorities. These concerns include the prevention of children in some regions from receiving religious education, new regulations that restrict the right of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns to travel in order to receive religious training, the persecution of Christians not affiliated with government-approved denominations, and government efforts to effect the forcible return to China of Uighur Muslims for their peaceful religious activism. In Iran, the regime is unrelenting in its repression of Baha’is and has created a threatening atmosphere for nearly all non-Shia religious groups, including Sufi Muslims, some Christian groups and members of the Jewish community. The Government of Eritrea continues to harass, arrest and detain religious minorities, particularly Protestant Christians. Some NGOs estimate the number of religious prisoners in Eritrea to be as many as 1,900. The Burmese regime continues to infiltrate and covertly monitor meetings and activities of virtually all organizations, including religious organizations.”

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