Monday, September 17, 2007

US Religion Report Faults Iraq, China But Commends Vietnam and Saudi Arabia

by David Gollust fromVOA News

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom John Hanford said the past year saw progress against religion-based discrimination in a diverse list of countries including Saudi Arabia ... The U.S. envoy said the Saudi Arabian government, which officially recognizes only the Wahabi branch of Sunni Islam, has undertaken to curb incitement against other faiths and allows at least private observances of non-sanctioned religions ... Eight countries - China, Burma, North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan - were designated as "Countries of Particular Concern" by Secretary Rice late last year. A revised list is expected to be issued in November based on the new report. The delay is intended to give countries facing the designation and possible U.S. sanctions an opportunity to undertake reforms.

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