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Belarus dismisses U.S. accusations over restrictions on religious freedom


08:43, May 23, 2013

MINSK , May 22 (Xinhua) -- Belarusian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday dismissed the Religious Freedom Report published by the U.S. State Department over religious freedom restrictions in Belarus.

Belarus strictly adheres to its international commitments and national law in protecting religious freedom, the country's foreign ministry said.

"As for the report of the Department of State, it abounds in trite cliches and abstract and overused stereotypes that report developers rewrite every year without bothering to check what the reality is," said Maria Vanshina, deputy head of the ministry's information department.

The official also stressed that this report does not seem interesting to Belarus, as it is the internal document of the U.S. Department of State submitted to the Congress.

In its latest report on religious freedom worldwide, the U.S. State Department described Belarus as a country where "laws and policies restrict religious freedom," despite the fact that this is enshrined in the constitution. "The law restricts the ability of religious organizations to provide religious education and to freely import and distribute religious literature," claims the report.

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