Paul Marshall, senior fellow of Freedom House’s Center for Religious Freedom, will testify today on the worldwide proliferation of Saudi-based extremist Wahhabi ideology before the House International Relations Committee, on the State Department's “Country Report on Religious Freedom.”
The Muslim ideology advocates violence against Christians, Jews and other religious believers, including moderate Muslims, but it was not addressed in the State Department’s recent report on global religious freedom.
The Center for Religious Freedom is currently preparing a report on Saudi-propagated Wahhabi materials that have been collected from mosques in the United States.
The State Department did, however, add Saudi Arabia to the U.S. list of “countries of particular concern,” a decision which Marshall welcomed.
In his testimony, Marshall will focus on six countries—Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Egypt, China and Iraq—with particular emphasis on new developments in Vietnam, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
In welcoming Vietnam’s designation as a “country of particular concern,” Marshall will point to evidence that Vietnamese authorities continue to carry out anti-Christian persecution against Hmong and Montagnard ethnic minorities.
Marshall will also speak to growing evidence of ethnic cleansing against native ChaldoAssyrian Christians in Iraq. Tens of thousands of ChaldoAssyrians are believed to have fled Iraq since coordinated church bombings in Mosul and Baghdad during Sunday worship services Aug. 1. Approximately 800,000 Christians remain in Iraq, constituting the largest non-Muslim minority.
Marshall will also bring attention to proposals of the ChaldeoAssyrian community, including the creation of a safe haven in Iraq, as described in Article 53D of the Transitional Administrative Law.