US designates Pak, China as countries of particular concern

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News: US State Department has designated Pakistan and China among eight other countries that are of particular concern for violation of religious freedom.

Facts:

  • Countries of Particular Concern(CPC): It is a designation by the United States Secretary of State under the International Religious Freedom Act enacted by USA in 1998.
  • Why is it given? It is given to countries which engage in or tolerate systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.
  • Countries on the CPC list: The nations on the CPC list are Pakistan, China, Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
    • Note: The US State Department did not accept the US Commission on International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) recommendation that India, Russia, Syria and Vietnam be also designated as CPCs.

Additional Facts:

  • Special Watch List country: It is one that is deemed not to meet all of the CPC criteria but engages in or tolerates severe violations of religious freedom.
  • USCIRF: It is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission which seeks to defend the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.
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