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Annual U.S. Report Shines Spotlight On Religious Repression Worldwide

The U.S. State Department has released its annual International Religious Freedom report drawing attention to the repression of religious expression, persecution of believers, and toleration of violence against religious minorities by governments around the world.

The report also notes those countries where officials protect and promote religious freedom.

Iran and Uzbekistan are designated "Countries of Particular Concern," which are defined as "countries that have engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom," along with Burma, China, North Korea, Sudan, Eritrea, and Saudi Arabia.

Read RFE/RL correspondent Heather Maher's full report here.