Washington D.C., Jan 4, 2018 / 16:02 pm
The State Department on Thursday unveiled its list of countries designated as the worst offenders against religious liberty. Advocates of religious freedom applauded the list, but said that several additional countries should have been added.
The countries of Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan were labeled as "Countries of Particular Concern" (CPC) in the State Department's report. The 10 countries on the CPC list are unchanged from last year.
In addition, Pakistan was placed on a "Special Watch List," which is a new category below that of Countries of Particular Concern.
A country is labeled as a CPC after it engages in "systemic, ongoing, [and] egregious" violations of religious liberty. The "Special Watch List" is for countries that "engage in or tolerate severe violations" of religious liberty, but not to the extent of a CPC.