US/World News

Mideast countries top U.S. list of violators of religious freedom

( Several Middle East countries have been identified as among the worst violators of religious freedom, according to an annual report issued by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. According to the 209-page report, Iran and Saudi Arabia are identified as “Tier 1” and “Countries of Particular Concern (CPC).” Egypt, Syria, and Iraq are listed as “Tier 1” countries that are not yet on the U.S. State Department’s CPC list but should be added. Turkey is listed as a “Tier 2,” which are countries that do not fully meet the criteria of being a CPC but still have serious violations of religious freedom.

Regarding Egypt, the report said that the government under former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and the new military-backed regime “failed or were slow to protect religious minorities, particularly Coptic Orthodox Christians, from violence.”

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