State Department report finds rise in anti-Semitism, persecution of Christian minorities

(JNS.org) The newly released International Religious Freedom Report for 2012 by the U.S. State Department study found an increase in anti-Semitism as well as persecution of Christians and other minorities.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Egypt is an area of "great concern" for expressions of anti-Semitism “by government officials, by religious leaders, and by the media,” according to a new State Department report. Credit: Jonathan Rashad.

The report stated, “Holocaust denial and glorification remained troubling themes, and opposition to Israeli policy at times was used to promote or justify blatant anti-Semitism.” It singled out Venezuela, Egypt and Iran as areas of “great concern” for expressions of anti-Semitism “by government officials, by religious leaders, and by the media.”

The report also said, “Christians were a leading target of societal discrimination, abuse, and violence in some parts of the world,” citing attacks by Muslim extremists in Nigeria and Pakistan as well as state-sponsored persecution in Iran such as the arrest or torture of Pastor Saeed Abedini.

The report also mentioned persecution of other minority faiths, such as Bahais, Hindus and non-Sunni Muslims by Muslim extremists.

Coinciding with the release of the report, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the appointment of Ira Forman as the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Forman is the former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council.

Posted on May 20, 2013 .