The United States on Monday denounced what it called a rising tide of both anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish sentiment around the world as it urged all nations to ensure freedom of religion.

In a wide-ranging annual report on religious freedom, the State Department voiced alarm at growing attacks against minority groups and painted a bleak picture in nations such as China, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of State John Kerry, while acknowledging that the US record was not perfect, called religious freedom a "universal value" as he presented the report.

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