Millions displaced by religious violence in 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. says millions of people were forced from their homes because of their religious beliefs last year.

The State Department on Monday released its 2013 report on religious freedom around the world. It said in conflict zones, mass displacement has become the, quote, “pernicious norm.”

The report said that in much of the Middle East, the Christian presence is becoming “a shadow of its former self.” Hundreds of thousands of minority Christians have fled Syria after three years of civil war.

The report highlighted more than one million people being displaced in the Central African Republic during 2013, amid an upsurge in Christian-Muslim violence.

In Southeast Asia, anti-Muslim violence spread from Myanmar’s volatile west to central Meikhtila, with up to 100 deaths and 12,000 displaced.

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