U.S. Report Finds Religious Freedom Conditions ‘Continued to Deteriorate’ Worldwide in 2017

– May 3, 2018

WASHINGTON — An annual government report outlining the state of affairs for religious freedom across the globe has found that “conditions continued to deteriorate” and remained on a “downward trend” in 2017.

“Religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate in countries across the globe in 2017. This ongoing downward trend often intersected with authoritarian practices characterized by hostility toward dissent, pluralism, independent media, and active civil society, or took place under the guise of protecting national security or countering terrorism,” wrote the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in its 2018 report.

The document focused on 28 countries that have most egregiously persecuted residents for their faith.

“The most severe abuses included genocide and other mass atrocities, killings, enslavement, rape, imprisonment, forced displacement, forced conversions, intimidation, harassment, property destruction, the marginalization of women, and bans on children participating in religious activities or education,” it outlined.