Saturday, September 15, 2007

U.S. on religious freedoms in Serbia

15 September 2007 18:16 Source: B92, Tanjug
WASHINGTON -- The respect for religious freedoms in Serbia deteriorated over the past year, according to a U.S. State Department report.

The Department of State released its annual report on international religious freedom on September 14.

A part of the document pertaining to Serbia says the respect for religious freedoms has deteriorated “because of the problematic law on religion and the Ministry of Religion's arbitrary execution of the law.”

The report cites instances of discrimination and acts of societal violence directed against representatives of religious minorities. Leaders of minority religious communities reported acts of vandalism, hate speech, physical attacks, and negative media reports labeling them "sects," "satanists," or "deviants." Police and government officials took positive steps in response to acts of hate speech and vandalism; however, investigations tended to be slow and inconclusive.

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