USCIRF cites Russia, 3 terrorist groups for violations



By Tom Strode - Posted at Baptist Press:

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom made some ground-breaking recommendations in its latest annual report, but the bipartisan watchdog made clear one reality is not new -- the ability to exercise one's faith continues to deteriorate.

In its 2017 report issued Wednesday (April 26), the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) set a precedent by calling for Russia to be classified as one of the world's worst violators of religious liberty. The commission also urged the designation of three Muslim terrorist groups -- the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Taliban in Afghanistan and al-Shabaab in Somalia -- as "entities of particular concern" (EPCs), a new category for non-state organizations that use violence against people of faith.

Meanwhile, USCIRF reported the status of religious liberty globally "is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations. The blatant assaults have become so frightening -- attempted genocide, the slaughter of innocents, and wholesale destruction of places of worship -- that less egregious abuses go unnoticed or at least unappreciated."

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