US commission: Russia a major violator of religious freedom

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

By Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service

(RNS) The State Department should add Russia to its list of the worst violators of religious freedom, a U.S. commission declared in its annual report.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, founded to advise the federal government on the issue, comes out with its own list of shame each year, citing the most abusive countries in a lineup consistently longer than the State Department’s.

This year, the USCIRF report included a dissenting report from its vice chair criticizing the commission for failing to investigate Israel.

On Wednesday (April 26), USCIRF recommended that the U.S. should designate Russia as a “country of particular concern,” for wielding an anti-extremist law to violate the religious freedom of Muslims and other minorities.

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