WASHINGTON -- The State Department's newly released annual report on international religious freedom shows continued attacks and abuse by governments and societies against religious minorities in their respective countries.

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UNITED NATIONS -- Many terrorist attacks and other violence against houses of worship, religious sites and faith communities around the world "are finally receiving the attention, condemnation and committed response they deserve," Archbishop Bernardito Auza said June 24 at the United Nations.

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OTTAWA -- Getting the United Nations and the European Union to acknowledge the persecution of Christians is an ongoing challenge, but there are signs of progress, says Marcela Szymanski, a lobbyist for Aid to the Church in Need.

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OTTAWA -- The fight against Quebec’s secularism legislation must continue even though it is now law, say religious freedom advocates.

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PITTSBURGH -- Pope Francis follows closely the news related to immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, Archbishop Christophe Pierre said in May 30 interview in Pittsburgh.

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WASHINGTON -- On May 28, the U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing Aug. 22 as the Day to Commemorate Victims of Violence Based on Religion.

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OTTAWA - In pursuit of a secular state, Quebec is wrong to limit religious freedom, said the president of Quebec’s assembly of bishops after the province tabled a controversial bill that will bar many provincial employees from wearing religious clothing and symbols on the job.

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OTTAWA – David Anderson had been a popular Conservative MP in Saskatchewan for more than a decade when an assassination half a world away inspired him to pick up the torch for religious freedom.

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Separate terrorist attacks in the past five months have killed 80 people as they worshipped in New Zealand mosques, an American synagogue and a Philippines cathedral. These are just three among hundreds of attacks on worshippers over the past decade. 

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More than a month after Pakistan’s Supreme Court announced that it had confirmed its decision to acquit Asia Bibi, the 51-year-old Catholic woman is still in Pakistan under protective custody despite an offer of asylum from Canada. 

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VATICAN – Violating religious freedom harms not only the individuals being persecuted, it also damages communities and often opens the door to further violence, a Vatican representative said.
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After a decade of prayer, diplomacy and legal wrangling, a persecuted Christian farmhand and her family is about to start a new life in Canada.

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NEW DELHI – India's Supreme Court rejected bail for a Missionaries of Charity nun arrested nearly seven months ago on suspicion of child trafficking.
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This story has been modified to clarify the perspective of the Canadian bishop quoted below.

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan's Supreme Court upheld its acquittal of a Pakistani Catholic woman sentenced to hang for blasphemy.
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