Religious Minorities in the Near East, South and Central Asia
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the plight of religious minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia. Last year the Pew Forum released a report on global restrictions on religion which found that "nearly 70 percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with high restrictions on religion, the brunt of which often falls on religious minorities."
In Alexandria, Egypt, December 31, 23 people were killed by a suicide bomber while coming out of mass at St. Mark and St. Peter Coptic Church. Other religious minorities including the Ahmadis, Baha’is, Zoroastrians and Jews are under increasing pressure in the region. Last May, militants in Pakistan attacked two Ahmadi mosques in Pakistan killing at least 80 people. According to the Baha’i World News Service, some 335 Baha’is have been arrested in Iran on account of their religious beliefs
Mosab Yousef, Author, Son of Hamas
Amjad Mohmood Khan, National Director of Public Affairs, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, U.S.
Dina Guirguis, Keston Family Fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Ginous Alford, Media Relations Officer, National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of the U.S.