Hindus kept waiting on land cases: US report
Bangladesh government did not dispose any of the more than one million property-related cases seized away from the people of Hindu community as enemy property, a US report said.
The report also said, “Some government officials restricted religious groups they perceived as trying to convert Muslims away from Islam”.
Such were the Bangladesh highlights in the 2015 International Religious Freedom Report of the US Department of State submitted to the United States Congress yesterday (Wednesday).
“The constitution designates Islam as the state religion but upholds the principle of secularism, prohibits religious discrimination, and provides for equality for all religions,” it read.
Minority religious groups reported the government discriminated against them in property disputes, the report read.
In meetings with government officials and in public statements, the US ambassador and other embassy representatives spoke out against acts of religious violence and intolerance and encouraged the government to continue to uphold the rights of minority religious groups in line with the country’s historic tradition of diversity and tolerance.
The embassy publicly condemned attacks against members of religious minorities and secularist bloggers, and called on the government to bring those responsible to justice.
The US ambassador and embassy staff met with local government officials, civil society members, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and religious leaders to underscore the importance of religious tolerance.
Now in its 18th year, this congressionally-mandated Report comprises almost 200 distinct reports on countries and territories worldwide and continues to reflect the United States’ commitment to, and advancement of, the right of every person to freedom of religion or belief.
The 2015 report notes a continuing trend of some governments enforcing strict laws against blasphemy, apostasy, and conversion from the majority religion, or restricting religious liberty under the guise of combatting violent extremism. Many non-state actors, including terrorists, continued their assault on religious and ethnic minorities.
The report also notes the positive actions of civil society and other governments around the world to provide greater protections for religious minorities and to safeguard the fundamental freedom of individuals to believe, or not believe – according to their own conscience, and to manifest their religion or belief in worship, practice, observance, and teaching.