|Religious freedom imperiled|
Cathoilc News Service photo
Family and friends mourn at the July 20 burial of Kochava Shriki in Rishon LeZion, Israel. Shriki and five others were killed in suicide bomb attack that targeted Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.
Catholic News ServiceThe bomb attack that targeted Israeli tourists in Bulgaria and killed six is part of a trend of threats to religious freedom.
Eight countries exhibit widespread religious persecution. They are major U.S. Middle East ally, Saudi Arabia, and a major U.S. trading partner, China, as well as North Korea, Iran, Sudan, Eritrea, Myanmar and Uzbekistan.
Authoritarian regimes in many countries were using religious persecution for political ends; Russia and Uzbekistan have invoked national security as a pretext for restricting the rights of peaceful religious groups.