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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Religious Minorities in the Near East, South and Central Asia

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 3:30pm
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


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.
    Written statement
  • 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.
112th Congress