Tuesday, December 16, 2008

USCIRF Issues New Report on Religious Freedom In Iraq

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom today issued a report on religious freedom concerns in Iraq, and (over the dissent of four commissioners) recommended that Iraq be designated as a "country of particular concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act. USCIRF's press release summarizes the full report which focuses on both intra-Muslim violence and abuses against non-Muslim minority groups (particularly Christians, Mandaeans, and Yazidis). Commission Chair Felice D. Gaer said: "The lack of effective government action to protect these communities from abuses has established Iraq among the most dangerous places on earth for religious minorities." The Commission unanimously recommended a series of steps in eight different areas that need to be taken in order to improve the religious freedom situation in the country. (See prior related posting.)