Persecution report: Afghanistan is “worst of the worst” | WORLD
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Persecution report: Afghanistan is “worst of the worst”

Women wait to receive food rations from a Saudi humanitarian aid group in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday. Associated Press/Photo by Ebrahim Noroozi

Persecution report: Afghanistan is “worst of the worst”

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said Monday in its annual report that religious minorities in Afghanistan have been harassed, detained, and put to death for their faith since the Taliban reimposed its Islamist rule. This year’s report marks the first time since 2001, when the Taliban last ruled in Kabul, that the governmental advisory body recommended designating Afghanistan as a “country of particular concern.” The report recommended sanctioning individual Taliban officials deemed responsible for severe violations of religious freedom and urged that those facing persecution receive priority in refugee resettlement.

What else does the report say? The United States’ list of countries of particular concern already includes 10 nations, such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, but the report suggests adding four more in addition to Afghanistan: India, Nigeria, Syria, and Vietnam. The State Department removed Nigeria’s designation in 2021, but USCIRF said religious freedom conditions in the country remain dire. USCIRF also asked the State Department to redesignate seven terrorist groups as “entities of particular concern,” including Boko Haram, certain Islamic State branches, and the Houthis in Yemen.

Dig deeper: Read Esther Eaton’s report in The Stew on Afghan refugees trying to gain permanent status in the United States.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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