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U.S. Report Takes Aim At Blasphemy, Apostasy Laws

In a new report, the U.S. State Department raises concerns over laws against blasphemy and apostasy in Islamic societies.

"Such laws conflict with and undermine universally recognized human rights," it says in its annual report on global religious freedom released on August 10.

In Pakistan, blasphemy laws "have often been used as justification for mob justice," the report says.

It also points out government actions against Sunni Muslims in Iran and against Shi'a in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, steps against Christians in China, and anti-Semitism in Europe.

The document adds that nonstate actors such as the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in West Africa continue to rank among "the most egregious abusers of religious freedom in the world."

Based on reporting by AP