Saturday, February 28, 2015

Study Released On Religious Restrictions and Hostilities

The Pew Research Center on Thursday issued its annual report for 2013 on the extent to which governments around the world restrict religious minorities and the extent to which non-governmental actors engage in social hostillity toward religion.  The report titled Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities finds that:
the share of countries with high or very high levels of social hostilities involving religion dropped from 33% in 2012 to 27% in 2013, the most recent year for which data are available. These types of hostilities run the gamut from vandalism of religious property and desecration of sacred texts to violent assaults resulting in deaths and injuries.
By contrast, the share of countries with high or very high government restrictions on religion stayed roughly the same from 2012 to 2013. The share of countries in this category was 27% in 2013, compared with 29% in 2012. Government restrictions on religion ... [range] from registration requirements to discriminatory policies and outright bans on certain faiths....
As in previous years, Christians and Muslims – who together make up more than half of the global population – faced harassment in the largest number of countries. Christians were harassed, either by government or social groups, in 102 of the 198 countries included in the study (52%), while Muslims were harassed in 99 countries (50%).
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of countries where Jews were harassed. In 2013, harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 77 countries (39%)– a seven-year high. Jews are much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments.
(See prior related posting.)