On May 12, 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken rolled out the 23rd International Religious Freedom Report. The report covers the status of religious freedom in countries around the world and U.S. efforts to promote religious freedom.
Secretary Blinken noted the following in his remarks:
“Let me just say a few words about why this report matters. Religious freedom is a human right; in fact, it goes to the heart of what it means to be human – to think freely, to follow our conscience, to change our beliefs if our hearts and minds lead us to do so, to express those beliefs in public and in private. This freedom is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It’s also part of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Our country’s commitment to defending freedom of religion and belief goes back centuries. It continues today.
Religious freedom, like every human right, is universal. All people, everywhere, are entitled to it no matter where they live, what they believe, or what they don’t believe. Religious freedom is co-equal with other human rights because human rights are indivisible. Religious freedom is not more or less important than the freedom to speak and assemble, to participate in the political life of one’s country, to live free from torture or slavery, or any other human right. Indeed, they’re all interdependent. Religious freedom can’t be fully realized unless other human rights are respected, and when governments violate their people’s right to believe and worship freely, it jeopardizes all the others. And religious freedom is a key element of an open and stable society. Without it, people aren’t able to make their fullest contribution to their country’s success. And whenever human rights are denied, it ignites tension, it breeds division.”
To read the International Religious Freedom Report for South Sudan, please click on the link below: