Almost 80 percent of the global population live with restrictions or hostilities that limit their freedom of religion. Such announcement was made by the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, "The voice of Armenia" reports.
"As we make progress in defeating ISIS and denying them their caliphate, their terrorist members have and continue to target multiple religions and ethnic groups for rape, kidnapping, enslavement, and even death.
Application of the law to the facts at hand leads to the conclusion that ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in areas it controls or has controlled. ISIS is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups, and in some cases against Sunni Muslims, Kurds, and other minorities. More recently, ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks on Christian pilgrims and churches in Egypt.
The protection of these groups – and others subject to violent extremism – is a human rights priority for the Trump administration. We will continue working with our regional partners to protect religious minority communities from terrorist attacks and to preserve their cultural heritage.
As the 2016 report indicates, many governments around the world use discriminatory laws to deny their citizens freedom of religion or belief," – Tillerson said.
He added, that in Turkey authorities continued to limit the human rights of members of some religious minority groups, and some communities continue to experience protracted property disputes. Particularly, the report mentions the claim of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, which demands to return the residence of the Catholicos illegally captured in Sis in 1915. In June 2016, the Turkish Constitutional Court denied the suit for procedural reasons, but in December, the plaintiff applied to the European Court of Human Rights. The report also mentions that Turkish authorities have stopped religious rituals in the Armenian Church of Akhtamar Island.
86 religious leaders have been arrested in Azerbaijan in 2016 and they are considered political prisoners by the local observers.
The US Secretary of State reminded that restriction of religious freedom was one of the main reasons for extremism and religious radicalism.