Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement regarding the Department of State’s report designating countries of particular concern for religious freedom violations:

“Religious freedom is a fundamental human right, yet far too many people around the world are still persecuted, imprisoned, and killed solely because of their beliefs. It is our responsibility, as Americans, to speak for those with no voice. The administration is right to make this a priority. The re-designation of Burma as a country of particular concern is particularly appropriate, given the Burmese military’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims.

“However, I am troubled that Vietnam was again not designated this year. The Vietnamese people continue to have their religious freedom and other human rights violated. The U.S. should never shrink from calling out countries for such abuses.”

Note: Chairman Royce has pushed for Vietnam to be designated as a country of particular concern.