State Department no longer tracking religious liberty in human rights reports | CatholicVote.org
State Department no longer tracking religious liberty in human rights reports
by Joshua Mercer
This is disturbing. And the timing couldn’t be more ominous, as we are already engaged in an epic battle with the Obama administration on religious liberty because of Obamacare.
CNSNews.com broke the news:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports.
The new human rights reports–purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered–are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.
Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role.
Thomas Farr, a former U.S. diplomat who served under both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush expressed concern about the change.
“[I]t is important to note here that I do not know–I have no personal knowledge of the logic that went into removing religious freedom from the broader human rights report; but I also have observed during the three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration that the issue of religious freedom has been distinctly downplayed.
I sure hope Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee get some straight answers from the State Department on this. We’ll be watching.