October 16, 1999
6 others accused of religious discrimination in U.S. report
By George Gedda
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON The State Department has
designated China and six other countries for possible sanctions for
having engaged in or tolerated "particularly severe" violations of
religious freedom, officials said Tuesday night.
Also on the list were Afghanistan, Burma, Iran,
Iraq, Serbia and Sudan, the officials said. Of the seven, the United
States has normal relations only with China.
The disclosures came four weeks after the State
Department issued its first annual report on the state of religious
The report said Chinese government intolerance of
unregistered religious activity has led in some areas to persecution of
people on the basis of religious practice.
The report offers these evaluations on the other
- Afghanistan Shiites suffered persecution and killing at the
hands of the Taliban-led government in Kabul.
- Burma The government arrests and imprisons Buddhist monks
who promote human and political rights.
- Iran Policies have been implemented to eradicate the Baha'i
faith through prolonged imprisonment, confiscation and desecration of
holy places and denial of the right to assemble.
- Iraq The government has conducted a campaign of murder,
execution and arbitrary arrest against religious leaders and adherents
of the Shi'a Muslim population.
- Serbia Authorities engaged in the killing, torture, rape and
forced emigration of Kosovar Albanians.
- Sudan Christians, practitioners of indigenous religions and
Muslims who deviate from the official interpretation of Islam are
subject to killing, imprisonment and forced conversion to Islam.
©Copyright 1999, Desert News