Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/19/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

State department lists worst 'authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens' ability to practice their religion'

Most distressing is the fact that religious persecution continues in the world today. Somewhere, someone has a deeply held belief that is perceived as a threat to others. The State Department has listed eight separate nations as the worst places to practice religion. The nations listed are, in the words of the department, "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens' ability to practice their religion."

The oil-rich monarchy of Saudi Arabia doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

The oil-rich monarchy of Saudi Arabia doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/19/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: State Department, religious intolerance, persecution


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While the report by the department is objective, these country's designations will have consequences. Sudan's recent sentencing of a pregnant woman for leaving Islam to marry a Christian man drew international attention. Authorities there intend to carry out her hanging and floggings - after she has her baby. As a result, Sudan will become ineligible for some forms of foreign aid.

In addition to Sudan, other nations on the list - cited as being "countries of particular concern," is Burma. The government there has put a stranglehold on every religion except Theravada Buddhism, says the State Department.

Starvation doesn't take a vacation --


Non-Buddhists have been encouraged to convert, and Muslims in the state of Rakhine, particularly Rohingya Muslims, are subject to discrimination and lethal violence, according to the State Department.

The Asian powerhouse of China? "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practice," the State Department says.

Uyghur Muslims, there were recently sentenced to 10 years in jail for "selling illegal religious material," and Catholic clergy were arrested for not belonging to the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association.

In one of Africa's poorest nations, Eritrea, only four religious groups are officially allowed to openly practice their faith in this African nation; the rest are subject to jailing or worse.

If you're not an Eritrean Orthodox Christian, a Sunni Muslim, a Roman Catholic or an Evangelical Lutheran, life could be tough for you there.

The Muslim-majority country of Iran has seen a downturn in religious tolerance. "There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for their religious activities," the department's report says.

Let's not - or who can possibly forget North Korea? Members of underground churches there were arrested, beaten, tortured or killed because of their religious beliefs, the State Department says.

The oil-rich monarchy of Saudi Arabia doesn't even pretend to respect religious rights for any faith other than Islam. The public practice of any other religion is forbidden, according to the State Department, and Arabian authorities beheaded a man in 2012 for engaging in "sorcery."

Uzbekistan, on the other hand, has laws that respect religious rights.

But in practice, the Central Asian nation maintains strict control of its majority-Muslim population, according to the State Department.

"The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourage minors from practicing their faith," the department said in its 2012 report.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

Singer puts amazing, can't miss Easter spin on popular song 'Hallelujah' (WATCH) Watch

Image of Easter Sunday is on April 5.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As we approach Easter Sunday, it is important to remember the reason for the holiday. It is important to remember what Jesus Christ went through. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Singer/songwriter Kelley Mooney was asked to perform Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." ... continue reading


Unholy political positions in the Holy Land Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

As the minds and hearts of Christians throughout the world focus on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we naturally think of the Holy Land. Throughout much of history, in the land where the world's savior taught human beings to love one another as ... continue reading


'Current White House may be least friendly to religious concerns' A message from Archbishop Charles Chaput Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In noting that the Obama administration appears to be the least friendly to religious concerns in United States history, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, in a speech to seminarians in his archdiocese this month, examined the threats to religious liberty - in ... continue reading


St. Teresa of Avila dubbed the Pope Francis of her time Watch

Image of Witty, warm and personable, St. Teresa of Avila nonetheless pushed the Carmelite order to reform, teaching the faithful not to be caught up with creature comforts

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St. Teresa of Avila of the 16th Century was in many ways the Pope Francis of her day. Witty, warm and personable, she nonetheless pushed the Carmelite order to reform. St. Teresa taught the faithful not to be caught up with creature comforts, to be true to ... continue reading


5 Disney movies you never knew had hidden religious messages Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disney movies are a well-known and well-loved part of most people's childhood. These stories talk and teach us things, like believing in ourselves and follow our dreams. Recently, the stories inspire courage and kindness, as well as forms of "true love." But viewers ... continue reading


5 excellent tips on how to read the Bible Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Bible is one of the most popular published books ever written in the history of life, but also one of the hardest to read and understand. Unlike most books published today, the Bible contains a lot of statements that are full of dates, metaphors and written to ... continue reading


200 Christian teachers denied day off for Good Friday Watch

Image of The 2014-2015 school years are the first time in recent memory that officials scheduled classes during both Good Friday and the Jewish holidays.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Rhode Island school district is being sued over the claim that 200 Christian teachers were denied requests to take Good Friday off from work. The teacher's union claims that the decision denies educators the two religious days that they are afforded in their ... continue reading


For the first time in over 150 years -- Blood of St. Januarius liquefies during Francis' visit to Naples Watch

Image of According to legend, Januarius was allegedly born in Benevento to a rich patrician family that traced its descent to the Caudini tribe of the Samnites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in over 150 years, the blood of St. Januarius liquefied in the presence of a pope this past weekend. The phenomenon occurred when Pope Francis visited Naples this past weekend. It was the first time the blood liquefied in the presence of a ... continue reading


Church to Canonize Mom and Dad of St Therese, Show the Holiness of Christian Marriage Watch

Image of Pictured: Louis and Zelie Martin, the Mom and Dad of St Therese
For those called to live their Christian life in a consecrated Christian marriage, it is in the domestic church where progress in the spiritual life finds its raw material. The question we face every day becomes whether we live Christian marriage and family as a Christian vocation by responding to grace.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Louis and Zelie married in France in 1858. They had nine children. Five entered a consecrated or religious life in the Church. We have 218 letters which were written by Zelie.  They record the naturally supernatural pattern of a very real, human and devout ... continue reading


Drinking the Chalice of the Lord: Facing Suffering, Struggle and Failure Watch

Image of All of those who bear the name Christian are invited to follow the path of Jesus' struggle, to walk along with Him on the way of His rejection. We too are invited to climb the mountain of His great saving act of unmerited selfless Divine love. Golgotha beckons.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

James was the son of Zebedee and brother of John. From faithful stock, we see in this encounter that some forms of zeal may indeed be genetic. In fact, the zeal in both of these brothers caused the Lord to name them the Sons of Thunder.(Mk 3:14-17) However, human ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 1st, 2015 Image

St. Hugh of Grenoble
April 1: Benedictine bishop of Grenoble, France, patron of St. Bruno. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter