The US Secretary of State Pompeo released the 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The report highlighted some of the successes for religious freedom of the past year, such as the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey, and of Asia Bibi from Pakistan. But it also pointed to the increasing persecution of believers in countries like China, Iran, Eritrea, and elsewhere.
US report on religious freedom shows persecution continues to grow in many countries
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. This most recent report reveals that while there have been a handful of successes for religious freedom over the past year, the challenges continue to mount worldwide. We encourage all governments and international organizations to continue setting high standards when it comes to protecting and promoting international religious freedom,” said Kelsey Zorzi, Director of Advocacy for Global Religious Freedom for ADF International.
And so we will allow our Evangelicals to go into African countries, without reproach, preaching “KILL THE GAYS” so that we Christians can maintain our freedom of religion!
Religious persecution is a significant global threat
According to the US report, as well as recent reports by other governments, religious persecution is globally on the rise. Nearly 80% of the world’s population lives in areas where the right to religious freedom is highly restricted.
Some countries have shown improvements. Secretary Pompeo noted that Uzbekistan, for the first time in 13 years, was no longer designated as a “Country of Particular Concern” – a term which refers to countries that have committed “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom.”
And indeed while this is an important message, until the Government for whom Pompei works, his words smack of hypocrisy as those same supposed freedoms have dictated prison and hateful persecution for those who do not subscribe to the dicta!
Some countries of particular concern
Other countries have continued or even increased their persecution of religious minorities, and especially of Christians. Despite Asia Bibi’s acquittal and ultimate release after having been found guilty of blasphemy, Pakistan was moved from a special watch list to being designated a Country of Particular Concern. Over 40 individuals still face the death penalty or life imprisonment for blasphemy in Pakistan.
And over 70 countries criminalize love between people, the love that Evangelical extremist Christianity and extremist Islam condemns! LGBTQI people are arrested, evicted, expelled, beaten, raped, blackmailed, whipped and even stoned to death, all in the name of thee religions.
The release of the 2018 Annual Report – which undoubtedly is important, comes less than a month before the State Department will host the second annual Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. And when that event is hosted – what considerations or care for freedoms will be extended to LGBTQI people?
Here in America itself, we have the audacity to pronounce on global concerns while we are shamefully abusing the freedoms of those abroad and on our own soil!
STOP THE HATE in the name of RELIGION NOW!
P.S. When it comes to hypocrisy of the Trump admin – this is a tip of the iceberg! Or should I say a plop on the sh!tpile!
BY MELANIE NATHAN
Follow me on Twitter – @MelanieNathan1