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Worst places to be religious

Worst places to be religious

The U.S. State Department has recently put out a list of the worst places in the world to be religious.  There are eight of them total, and the department describes them as "authoritarian governments that restrict their citizens' ability to practice religion."

Myanmar (Burma) is a country that promotes Theravada Buddhism.  Anyone not practicing this is subjected to lethal violence and discrimination.  The 2012 Rakhine State riots are still going on which is a conflict between Rohingya Muslims and the ethnic Rahkine in the northern Rakhine State.

China is a country where "The government harassed, detained, arrested, or sentenced to prison a number of religious adherents for activities reportedly related to their religious beliefs and practices," said the State Department.  China's constitution supposedly guarantees freedom of religion, but this is not always the case.

Eritrea, located in Africa, only allows four religious groups to practice their faith.  These include Eritrean Orthodox Christian, Sunni Muslim, Roman Catholic, and Evangelical Lutheran.  This is the third year in a row the State Department has named them on the list of worst places to be religious.

Iran is a Muslim majority country and "There were increased reports that the government charged religious and ethnic minorities with moharebeh (enmity against God), 'anti-Islamic propaganda,' or vague national security crimes for religious activities," the State Department says.

North Korea has had members of underground church members arrested, beaten, tortured, and killed because of their beliefs.  It currently has over 200,000 political prisoners and most are for religious reasons.

Saudi Arabia protects the rights of those practicing Islam.  The official religion is Sunni Islam and the constitution is based on the Qur'an.  Any practice of a religion other than Islam is prohibited.

Sudan has been on the list since 1999.  The country disciplines those for blasphemy and conversion from Islam.  A Christian woman was sentenced to death earlier this week because she did not renounce her Christianity.

Uzbekistan is mostly a Muslim population.  "The government continued to imprison individuals based on charges of extremism; raid religious and social gatherings of unregistered and registered religious communities; confiscate and destroy religious literature, including holy books; and discourages minors from practicing their faith."

These conflicts have displaced hundreds of thousands over the years and still continue to do so.  These countries are the worst places to be religious in the world.

About Jodi Hillman

Jodi is a writer and a blogger. She has been writing for two years and it is a passion of hers.
  • JDale

    I don't know whether it is the US State Department or the author of this piece that is (deliberately?) confusing the issue here. These are not places where being religious per se is dangerous, but where being the wrong religion is. Rather than painting religion as the victim here, it is actually the villain. It is members of the RIGHT religion mistreating those of the WRONG one.

  • Jodi Hillman

    Yes it is the villain who is in the wrong here. This is the 8 places in the world where a person will be persecuted because of their religious beliefs.. (that would be a better title but it is kind of long). It is not the intention of painting religion as being wrong. But if you are a certain type of religion in these places it is very dangerous.


    I think it's totally depends on our self. I also agree with that

    Worst places to be religious but sometimes.

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  • K-air

    oww my goodness. really sad to hear about the countries which don't even allow to practice their own religion. I think our country is a heaven..


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    Whoa.. I am happy to see people are not following the religion strictly.Glad to see the list here

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