On Monday, at the unveiling of the global status on religious freedom in an annual report, John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of state reinforced the commitment of the U.S. in promoting the right of freedom of religion around the world.
In the briefing room at the State Department, Kerry made brief remarks that touted the latest annual report as an objective, clear-eyed look of what the state of religious freedom is in the world.
He also called the report a catalogue of violence and discrimination in countries that range from entrenched dictatorships to established democracies.
Kerry stressed the struggle in America for religious freedom and said in the U.S. there have been times when everyone has had to push, work and struggle to live up to our promise of the nation’s founding.
Countries listed in the detailed report as being restrictive of religious freedom include North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Iran, along with several allies of the U.S. such as Russia and China. Kerry said the country’s friends have not been exempt from behaving badly with regard to religious freedom.
Kerry said the report does call out directly some of America’s closest friends. He added that the report does so in an attempt to make progress even though some discomfort might be experienced.
Kerry said the birthright of every person on earth was the freedom to practice and profess one’s faith.
Some countries, such as Turkey and Vietnam, were mentioned as having lightened some of the restrictions they had on religious freedom.