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Religious Freedom Report Targets Non-State Groups Like ISIS

10-14-2015
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ISIS and other extremist groups have threatened religious freedom in the Middle East and around the world, according to the newly released International Religious Freedom Report from the U.S. State Department.

The report documents violations by countries like Iran, Pakistan, China, and Sudan. But unlike previous years, it specifically takes aim at non-state actors, including ISIS, al-Nusra, and Boko Haram.

Boko Haram alone killed more people last year than in the previous five years combined.

"Our primary goal is to help governments everywhere recognize that their societies will do better with religious liberty than without it," Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"The world has learned through very hard experience that religious pluralism encourages and enables contributions from all, while religious discrimination is often the source of conflicts that endanger all," he said.

The report also cites a rise in anti-Semitism and unreasonable religious restrictions in the name of combating terrorism.

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