The photo that accompanies this piece is of an Iranian woman who was flogged for having the temerity to worship as a Christian, for example.
The American Spectator’s December 11th analysis of the State Department’s 2009 Report On International Religious Freedom illustrates how really bad it is not only in Iran, but in at least 30 different countries.
Author Doug Bandow divides the offenders into two basic camps:
“The first are Muslim nations that seek to reinforce the Muslim faith — often the particular branch, Shia or Sunni, that controls the state. The second are authoritarian states that either are still communist or have only recently escaped communism. Their authoritarian impulses typically cover civil and political liberties as well as religious freedom.”
The old saw about Muslims demanding full rights to worship (minarets, anyone?) while simultaneously denying it to others (including incompatible strains of their own religion) rings particularly true here.
And the Communists just keep humming along.
Whether it’s Burma, Eritrea, or even India, those with power often seek to force others to adhere to their narrow conception of the Godhead – and if the “others” fail to feel the magic, they are often tortured and killed.
Although it is tempting to want to ban religions that preach the destruction of all competitors, so far we in the U.S. have stayed above the fray.
Perhaps the adherents of those religions can learn something from our approach.
Of course that isn’t guaranteed.