This report continues USCIRF’s ongoing assessment of the global religious freedom implications of government laws based on official or favored religions, in this case examining the dynamics of personal status and family laws in the Middle East and North Africa. The report examines illustrative case studies from a range of countries in the areas of marriage and divorce, inheritance, and guardianship. It finds that the compulsion of obedience to officially accepted interpretations of religious law often results in limitations on religious freedom, particularly for women—even in countries in which the population generally faces less religiously repressive conditions than those which USCIRF already recommends for designation as Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) or Special Watch List (SWL) countries.

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