Yesterday, the Department of State announced the Secretary of State's re-designation of Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan as Countries of Particular Concern for infringing upon religious freedom. The Secretary also placed Pakistan on a Special Watch List for severe violations of religious freedom.
The protection of religious freedom is a cornerstone of American values. Religious freedom is also a key component of building peace and stability around the world. Before we can help support citizens and communities, we need strong commitments from host country governments to fight religious persecution and advance religious tolerance and freedom of religion or belief. USAID remains dedicated to promoting the dignity of all people and empowering them to build their own futures.