Washington: Terming religious freedom as the vital front of US policy priority, Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday claimed that there are rising attacks on people at places of worship in India, a home to great diversity of faiths.

Blinken made this assertion as he released the 2021 Report on International Religious Freedom.

"Some governments continue to use blasphemy laws, others curtail expressions of religious belief like restrictions on religious attire. In all societies including our own, and across Europe must do more to combat rising forms of hate," Blinken said while delivering his address.

"In Pakistan, at least 16 individuals accused of Blasphemy were sentenced to death by courts in 2021, but these sentences are yet to be carried out... In India, the world's largest democracy and home to great diversity of faiths, we are seeing rising attacks on people in places of worship," he added.

The annual Report to Congress on International Religious Freedom - the International Religious Freedom Report - describes the status of religious freedom in every country.

The report covers government policies violating religious beliefs and practices of groups, religious denominations and individuals, and U.S. policies to promote religious freedom around the world.

The U.S. Department of State submits the reports in accordance with the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

U.S. embassies prepare the initial drafts of country chapters based on information from government officials, religious groups, non-governmental organizations, journalists, human rights monitors, academics, media, and others.