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Americans take religious liberty for granted. Unfortunately, this most fundamental freedom is not protected in many countries around the world.
Religious liberty is the proverbial canary in the mine. If a state won’t respect this most basic freedom of conscience, it isn’t likely to respect people’s lives and dignity in any context.
There is more than enough bad news to fill the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s latest annual report. Worst of all were the conditions in 13 “countries of particular concern.”
Burma: In this poor Southeast Asian nation, explains the panel, “Religious freedom violations affect every religious group.” Christians and other religious minorities have suffered the most, especially from government military operations.
China: Communist officials obviously fear religion. Reports the commission: “The Chinese government strictly controls all religious practice and represses religious activity outside state-approved organizations.” Moreover, members of “unregistered religious groups, or those deemed by the government to threaten national security or social harmony” risk fines, property confiscations, and prison.
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