Excerpt:

The US on Monday criticised France and Belgium for banning women from wearing face-covering Islamic veils in public, while warning of growing anti-Semitism and hostility towards Muslims in Europe.

The US State Department's report on religious freedoms, researched in 2011 but released on July 30, 2012, warned that freedom of worship was being undermined across the globe -- particularly in China and Pakistan.

Commenting on the report, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that more than a billion people worldwide lived "under governments that systematically repress religious freedom."


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