Published: Wed, August 16, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Islamic State Has Committed 'Genocide' Against Religious Believers

Islamic State Has Committed 'Genocide' Against Religious Believers

The Trump administration denounced the Islamic State group on Tuesday for carrying out "genocide" against Christians and other religious minorities in areas under its control.

The report questioned government's efforts to stop forced conversation of Hindus into Islam.

The Islamic State's targeting of religious minorities in the territory it controls is one of the biggest threats to global religious freedom, the U.S. Department of State noted in an annual report. The Islamic State, a jihadist force that declared a so-called "caliphate" in a now-shrinking pocket of territory in northern Iraq and eastern Syria, is the only group singled out in the preface. Religious freedom is under attack in Pakistan, where more than two dozen are on death row or serving a life imprisonment for blasphemy.

The report also highlighted claimed the Chinese government tortures and imprisons thousands for practising their religious beliefs.

In a press briefing after Mr. Tillerson spoke, he added, "I would put our record on religious freedom up against anybody in the world".

Tillerson has accused friends and foes alike of violating their citizens' religious freedoms, particularly focusing on Muslim-majority countries in his presentation of the US State Department's annual report on religious freedom worldwide.

Download the News Nation Mobile App and stay connected with top stories from India and around the world.

The religious freedom report, which is mandated by Congress, covers 2016 and does not address the Trump administration's decision to temporarily halt the admission of all refugees, many of whom are fleeing religious persecution. "We urge Saudi Arabia to embrace greater degrees of religious freedom for all of its citizens", Tillerson stated to the USA ally.

The first global report on the status of religious freedoms issued under President Donald Trump is critical of US adversaries and allies alike.

In 2016, violence and abuses committed by armed sectarian groups connected to organisations banned by the government, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, as well as abuses by individuals and groups designated as terrorist organisations by the U.S. and other governments, such as ISIL-K, continued, the report said. Divided by country, the report includes a phonebooklike compendium of publicized instances of religious violence and persecution.

The report also said that the government marginalises Ahmadiyya Muslims. The report details alleged persecution against Jews and others in Russian Federation.

The report notes that China has been labeled a "country of particular concern" under the law that established the State Department office responsible for the report.

In its annual report earlier this year, the commission pointed to the criminalization of certain non-sanctioned religious beliefs in the Russian mainland, and the treatment of minorities in the Russia-occupied Crimean Peninsula as serious abuses that merited Russia's place on the CPC list.

Religious freedom advocates applauded the Trump administration's selection earlier this summer of an Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom, who is charged with monitoring abuses of freedom of religion overseas and promoting religious freedom as part of USA foreign policy. Recently, Russia's supreme court rejected an appeal of the outlawing of Jehovah's Witnesses in the country. Lankford expressed his desire that Brownback be confirmed for the position soon.

Like this: