Dec 19, 2003, By Tom Strode
"WASHINGTON (BP)--The new U.S. State Department report on international religious freedom demonstrates why a non-partisan commission has been calling on Secretary of State Colin Powell to declare additional countries as severe violators of religious liberty, the panel's chairman said.
In an executive summary of its annual report released Dec. 18, the State Department classified countries where religious adherents and groups are suppressed, discriminated against or discouraged. Few changes were made in the five categories from last year's report.
The report said enough to convince the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom it was correct previously in recommending Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam as "countries of particular concern." CPCs, as designated by the State Department, are regimes that participate in or permit severe and ongoing violations of religious liberty..."