Religious freedom in 2009

The US State Department has released International Religious Freedom Report 2009. Here the list of countries where "violations of religious freedom have been noteworthy."

North Korea
Saudi Arabia

H/T: Talk Islam.

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Interesting -

I'm surprised there aren't more CIS countries in there. For example, my prior on Belarus making it very hard on the non-Orthodox is pretty high. But I'd hardly expect State to give Lukashenko a pass, so time to adjust the prior.

We didn't bother to list ourselves this year?

"violations of religious freedom have been noteworthy": have there been many in the US since Waco?

By bioIgnoramus (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

"have there been many in the US since Waco?"

The supreme court has already ruled that freedom of religion also protects atheists. Since candidates for public office in the US are de facto held to an Abrahamic religion litmus test, I'd count that as a systematic violation of religious freedom.

You've outdone yourself Miko. Being president or a senator is not a right. I'm not guaranteed to get laid in Kansas if I worship Satan, either - and the catholic church also won't let me torture goats inside their little "cathedrals" even when they aren't even using them, so private property is just as oppressive as democratic elections. I think you can see the difference between discrimination against atheists in law, and discrimination by voters or property owners.

By blue anonymous (not verified) on 27 Oct 2009 #permalink

re: miko's point about public office & discrimination, i think that is relatively small potatoes. after all, most people are never going to be running for public office. OTOH, people interact at work and other social situations, where in some regions different types of prejudice and discrimination might become mores salient issues (here in the state). that being said, "religious persecution" is graded on a curve.

my personal experience as a brown atheist who people assumed was hindu or muslim (by my appearance) in a locale which was half mormon and 3/4 conservative growing up is that it was much harder to be gay than atheist. people were prejudiced against atheists, but it was an abstract prejudice (some people didn't even know the term). in contrast, prejudice against gays or muslims is more concrete (i can't personally speak to anti-muslim prejudice, since the only times people have assumed i was muslim before knowing my background, it is clear that these were the types who don't distinguish between muslims and hindus. generally when people are specific it is clear they think i' hindu, and that's because of local demographics).

blue, you're correct, but I am only comparing the USto what the other countries on the list do. In many of them, the state does not ban or actively persecute members of a religion, but there are sociopolitical barriers for certain groups.

For example, here's what the report says about Laos:
"The law does not recognize a state religion; however, the Government's financial support and promotion of Buddhism, along with its willingness to exempt Buddhism from a number of restrictions, gave the religion an elevated status. Authorities in some of the country's 17 provinces continued to be suspicious of non-Buddhist religious communities and displayed intolerance for minority religious practice, particularly Protestant groups, whether or not they were officially recognized."

Sound familiar?


Any "property owners" you want to exempt from that.... Or do you miss the good ole' days when discrimination against (group x) in law was just the way God or some mushy thinker wanted it?