|SYRIA: USCIRF Issues Report on “Protecting and Promoting Religious Freedom in Syria”|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2013 | By USCIRF
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal agency created to monitor religious freedom abuses abroad and make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress, today issued “Protecting and Promoting Religious Freedom in Syria.”
USCIRF has become increasingly concerned about religious freedom conditions in Syria, both during the current crisis and in its aftermath. Due to the intensifying conflict between government forces and affiliates supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime and anti-government elements seeking his overthrow, the Syrian people have experienced egregious violations of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief.
The report found that the increasingly sectarian nature of the conflict has created a climate in which the human rights of all Syrians, including religious freedom, have been violated. The conflict also threatens Syria’s religious diversity, as members of the smallest minority communities are either fleeing the country or face an uncertain future in a post al-Assad Syria.
This report provides USCIRF’s preliminary findings and recommendations. Over the coming months, USCIRF will continue to monitor the situation and expects to issue additional reports and recommendations.