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Nigeria, Iraq added to U.S. Commission’s List of Persecuting Countries

USCIRF releases its annual list of countries that violate religious freedom to the State Department.
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The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its lists of countries that egregiously violate religious freedom and those that it's keeping an eye on. The situation in these countries is not just bad; it must show "intent and a pattern of recurrent affirmative acts of abuse on the part of the government."

The annual report, released today, is put together by a bi-partisan group who send their recommendations to the State Department. Theoretically, this could lead to sanctions if the State Department declares them Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs). However, Condoleeza Rice signed off on the official list of CPC's in January - two years late.

USCIRF named 13 countries this year. Since 2008's list, they have added Nigeria (slightly surprising) and Iraq:

? Burma is on the list primarily for its crackdown on monks, although the government also persecutes ethnic Christians and Muslims. "In addition, a new law passed in early 2009 essentially bans independent ...
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