Report: Restrictions on Religious Freedom Increasing Worldwide

Religion Today

Report: Restrictions on Religious Freedom Increasing Worldwide


Religious believers throughout the world face a rising tide of restrictions, according to a new study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released Sept. 20, the Religion News Service reports. Pew tracked religious freedoms denied by governments and cultural authorities, and found that in the one-year period ending in mid-2010, 75 percent of the world's population lived in a nation with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs or practices. A previous Pew study on the subject found that 70 percent of the world lived under religious restrictions. The researchers found increasing intolerance in every region of the world; government and social restrictions on religious freedom particularly tightened in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and sub-Sarahan Africa. Globally, restrictions increased not only in countries that already afforded few protections for religious freedom, such as Nigeria and Indonesia, but also in countries where citizens have generally enjoyed a high degree of religious liberty, such as Switzerland and the U.S.

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