Washington, DCIn Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, commends the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for release of their 2021 Annual Report.

In their 2021 report, USCIRF recommends that the following 14 countries be designated by the State Department as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) for “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations:” Burma, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

It has also placed the following countries on its Special Watch List: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

“IDC congratulates USCIRF for publication of its annual report,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini.

“This report illuminates the intense persecution Christians face in the darkest corners of the world. We are particularly pleased to see the report acknowledge and document Turkey’s many violations of religious freedom, domestically and abroad.  That said, we were hoping to see Turkey designated as a Country of Particular Concern, and urge the commission to designate it as such. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Neo-Ottomanism poses an existential threat to Christians in the Caucuses, Mediterranean, and Middle East and the U.S. must respond,” he added.


IDC will be hosting a roundtable discussion on the 2021 USCIRF Annual Report today, Wednesday, April 21 at 4:00 pm (ET). Registration for the event can be found here.

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