WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is highlighting concerns over laws against blasphemy and apostasy in some Muslim nations.
The State Department said in its annual report on global religious freedom released Wednesday that such laws and poor or weak legal protections conflict with and undermine internationally recognized human rights. The report noted particular problems in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Saudi Arabia.
The report also took aim at harassment, discrimination and violence that includes genocide against religious minorities being carried out by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in west Africa. The report also noted actions against Sunni Muslims in Iran, Shiite Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, steps against Christians in China, anti-Semitism in Europe and a total lack of religious freedom in North Korea.