Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue on the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief (via VTC)

Jason Mack
Counselor for Economic and Social Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 20, 2020


Thank you.

Special Rapporteur Shaheed, we welcome your report on eliminating religious intolerance, and reiterate our concerns regarding your February 2020 report.

The United States agrees that laws and policies should fully protect freedom of religion or belief, including repealing laws criminalizing blasphemy or apostasy.

We appreciate your participation in the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance of 31 states committed to upholding and promoting freedom of religion or belief launched by the United States in February.

We join the global community in calling on the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to end its campaign of repression against and detention of more than one million people of ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang internment camps. We call on the PRC to immediately end its abuse and mistreatment of Uyghurs and others in Xinjiang and throughout China, including Tibetan Buddhists, members of unregistered churches, and Falun Gong practitioners.

We call upon states to speak out against the Iranian government’s persistent targeting, persecution and imprisonment of members of religious minority groups as well as individuals who oppose government-sanctioned and enforced religious norms. Iran closely monitors Christian converts, Baha’is, Jews, Gonabadi Sufis, Zoroastrians and Sunni Muslims subjecting them to discrimination based on beliefs.

Special Rapporteur Shaheed, What more can be done to address the alarming violations of human rights in China and the government’s wanton disregard of the freedom of religion or belief of millions?