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Study: Religious Freedom Increasingly Threatened Worldwide

Photo credit: American Life League via Photopin cc
More countries around the world are taking action against religious freedom and believers are increasingly being harassed for their faith, according to a new study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

Altogether, during the 4 years of the study, religious groups were intimidated in a total of 184 countries at one time or another. Followers of the world’s two largest religious faiths, Christians and Muslims – who together make up more than 50 percent of the world’s population – were in one way or the other persecuted in the largest number of countries.

By pewresearch.org:

A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Restrictions on religion rose in each of the five major regions of the world – including in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions where overall restrictions previously had been declining.

The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the year ending in mid-2010. Because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, three-quarters of the world’s approximately 7 billion people live in countries with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, up from 70% a year earlier.

Restrictions on religion rose not only in countries that began the year with high or very high restrictions or hostilities, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, but also in many countries that began with low or moderate restrictions or hostilities, such as Switzerland and the United States. Read the full report of the Pew Research Center here

Photo credit: American Life League via Photopin cc

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