Published October 26, 2001
The United States has done much in the last year to promote religious freedom abroad. The 2001 International Religious Freedom Report covers the period from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001, and reflects a year of dedicated effort by hundreds of State Department, Foreign Service, and other U.S. Government employees toward the following purpose:
“In the end, every nation should meet the standards on religious freedom established by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments and covenants that they have accepted. Each nation is accountable to the international community for its failure to meet these standards. The United States acknowledges and accepts its responsibility to meet these standards in the safeguarding and protection of religious liberty.”
Included in this year’s report is the identification of some democratic states as having “instituted laws or policies resulting in the stigmatization of certain religions–the consequence of identifying them indiscriminately and inaccurately with dangerous ‘sects’ or ‘cults.'” Also of concern is “discriminatory legislation or policies disadvantaging certain religions.”
Summarized here are violations of international standards of religious freedom reported in the countries of Belgium, Germany, France and Russia.
Anti-Religious Extremists chronicled on this site have contributed to divisive attitudes and acts of discrimination in numerous countries around the globe, including the countries listed above. For reports on these individuals, and the Hate Groups they are associated with, see those sections of our site.
To read the full text of the 2001 International Religious Freedom Report, visit: www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2001/