Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the UN General Assembly in 1948, clearly states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Replacing the UN Commission on Human Rights in 2006 in part “to redress the Commission’s shortcoming,” ” the UN Human Rights Council, showing their true colors, granted membership to countries with less than stellar human rights records.
Eight of the UNHRC’s 47 member states, including newly elected Morocco, China and Saudi Arabia (their three-year terms begin Wednesday), imprisoned people in 2013 for breaking laws that restrict religious freedom. The five current member states to do the same are India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Libya and South Korea.
In China, Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists Muslims and Falun Gong adherents were arrested for proselytizing, holding illegal gatherings, providing religious education classes and publicizing their persecution. In Morocco, a convert to Christianity was arrested and fined for “shaking the faith of a Muslim” by sharing his newfound beliefs.
In Saudi Arabia, 52 Ethiopian Christians were arrested for participating in a private religious service. In India, Protestants were arrested for holding private prayer meetings. In Indonesia, a Pentecostal pastor was arrested for holding religious services without a valid permit, and an atheist was sentenced to 30 months in prison for starting an atheist Facebook page where he posted the words “God does not exist.”
In Kazakhstan, an atheist was arrested for allegedly inciting religious hatred in his writings. In Libya, foreign missionaries, dozens of Copts and a Protestant were arrested and allegedly tortured for proselytizing. In South Korea, nearly 600 Jehovah’s Witnesses were serving prison sentences for conscientious objection to mandatory military service.
In these eight states tasked with promoting human rights, religious believers and atheists alike are languishing in prison for maintaining their convictions, for exercising their human rights, proving the United Nations Human Rights Council is nothing short of a joke.
While not yet in the same category as those states listed above, the United States, in attempting to force religious organizations to provide mandated insurance coverage for abortions and sterilization, as well as their attempt to force acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage puts them on the par.
Source: Religion Today