Date: May 20, 2017
Last week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2017 Annual Report. Every year, USCIRF releases this report to recommend countries to be designated as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) by the U.S. Department of State. A CPC is a country designated by the Secretary of State as a country that is guilty of "systematic, ongoing and egregious" abuses to religious freedom, as mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).
This year, USCIRF has recommended the following countries to be designated as CPCs:
Central African Republic
USCIRF also lists Tier 2 Countries, which are defined as "nations in which violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are serious and characterized by at least one of the elements of the 'systematic, ongoing and egregious' CPC standard." USCIRF lists the following countries as Tier 2:
USCIRF also highlights the following countries to be under continued monitoring:
Jubilee Campaign commends USCIRF on their excellent report, in particular, the continued reporting on India's persecution of religious minorities by Hindu extremists. The report includes a section on Christian persecution in India with shocking statistics:
"In early 2017, the NGO, Open Doors, estimated that a church was burned down or a cleric beaten 10 times a week on average in India between January and October 2016 - triple the number of incidents the group reported in 2015."
A recent article by Christian Post wrote that an anti-Christian attacks happen approximately every 40 hours in India. The continued deterioration of Christian activity in India led to the child sponsorship organization, Compassion International, to be revoked of its permission to operate in the country. Last month, members of the U.S. Congress wrote a letter to India's Minister of the Interior requesting that Compassion International be able to continue its work.
We are pleased that the U.S. government recognizes the deterioration of religious freedom in India, and continues to monitor the country closely. Please continue to pray for the Christians of India.