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U.S. To Release Report On State Of Religious Freedom Around World

FILE: Pakistani protesters gather outside a police station during a demonstration against a Hindu man charged with blasphemy in the town of Hub in restive southwestern province of Balochistan.

The U.S. State Department is scheduled to release an annual report on the state of religious freedom around the world on August 15.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will deliver remarks on the report at 10:30 a.m. Washington time. The department describes religious freedom as a "core American value and fundamental human right."

The department in its report last year raised concerns about laws against blasphemy and apostasy in Islamic societies, saying they "undermine universally recognized human rights."

In Pakistan, blasphemy laws "have often been used as justification for mob justice," the 2016 report said.

The document said that nonstate actors such as the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in West Africa continue to rank among "the most egregious abusers of religious freedom in the world."

With reporting by AP

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