[The Report] recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. USCIRF also recommended that the following eight countries be re-designated as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.
This year’s report, the 15th since the Commission’s creation in 1998, documents religious freedom violations in 33 countries and makes country-specific policy recommendations. The report also examines U.S. international religious freedom policy over the past decade and a half, reviewing what IRFA requires, assessing the record on implementing its provisions, and recommending ways to strengthen U.S. engagement on and promotion of religious freedom.....
Along with recommending CPC designations, USCIRF also announced the placement of 10 countries on its 2014 “Tier 2” list, a USCIRF designation for governments that engage in or tolerate violations that are serious, but which are not CPC-level violators. USCIRF urged increased U.S. government attention to these countries, which include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Turkey.
The USCIRF report also highlights religious freedom concerns in countries/regions that do not meet the Tier 1 (CPC) or Tier 2 threshold, but should also be the focus of concern, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka, and Western Europe.The 200 page report also includes lists of prisoners in various countries held for their religious beliefs or views, or on blasphemy charges. Commissioner William Shaw (at pg. 165) dissented from the decision to make Turkey a Tier 2 country, as well as dissenting from the 15 year IFRA review chapter in the report.