(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.
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.
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.