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Burma Rejects US Accusations of Religious Persecution

Burma's military government has rejected a U.S. State Department report that slams Burma for restricting religious activities.

The annual report was issued earlier this month and lists countries, including Burma, Iran and China, as nations "engaged in or tolerating particularly severe violations of religious freedom."

Burma's Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the allegations were politically motivated and unjustified. It said no serious problems exist among religious groups in Burma.

Burma is overwhelmingly Buddhist, with small minorities of Christians, Muslims, Hindus and animists. It has long been criticized by rights groups and countries, including the United States, for its human rights record.

The State Department report is meant to help U.S. officials shape policy, conduct diplomacy and decide whether to help private groups promoting religious freedom in their countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.