Washington D.C., Dec 12, 2018 / 19:01 pm
Religious freedom problems in Pakistan have led the US Department of State to designate the country as of "particular concern," with nine others, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said Tuesday.
"I recognize that several designated countries are working to improve their respect for religious freedom; I welcome such initiatives and look forward to continuing the dialogue," Pompeo said Dec. 11.
In addition to Pakistan, Pompeo listed Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. This means he believes they have engaged in or tolerated "systematic, ongoing, (and) egregious violations of religious freedom." The designation took place Nov. 28, Pompeo said.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom makes recommendations to the State Department about the list. Its April 2018 report examined religious freedom threats in Pakistan and around the world.