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-Religious Freedom in Decline Around the World

by Dr. D ~ August 10th, 2011


On Tuesday, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released a new study showing that nearly 2.2 billion people live in nations where religious freedom is on the decline.

According to the study, countries that were already restrictive grew even more hostile towards religious freedom in the last few years. Fortunately more tolerant nations seem to be growing even more so.

The report analyzed data from 198 different countries and territories from 2006 through 2009. Brian Grim, the primary researcher of the report observed:

“There seems to be somewhat of a polarization. When you have one set of restrictions in place then it’s easier to add on.”

The following countries showed the greatest increase in government restrictions of religion:

Egypt, France, Algeria, Uganda, and Malaysia

It should be noted that North Korea which is known to be one of the most restrictive was not included in the study due to a lack of documentation.

The countries showing the greatest improvement were:

Greece, Togo, Nicaragua, Republic of Macedonia, and Guinea-Bissau

The worst news coming out of this study is that nearly 70 percent of the world population live in countries which have a significant amount of religious repression. Plus it is getting worse rather than better.

Like previous studies, the Muslim dominated nations in the Middle East and North Africa make up the worst region of the world when it comes to government sponsored religious repression. Surprisingly Europe seems to be an area that is said to be on the increase when it comes to religious restriction. At least according to this study.

Response: France makes the list because they restrict Muslim Women from wearing veils in public? Really? Meanwhile folks are being killed or thrown in prison for their faith around the world but France is listed as a major offender?

Europe is said to be among those areas where religious restrictions are on the rise. Europe is still heads above most of the world when it comes to freedom of religion. Where is the perspective? One thing for sure, anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe everywhere the Muslim population is increasing.

Is this really surprising? Muslim countries are among the most restrictive. Blasphemy laws and anti-conversion laws head the list and are required by Islamic sharia law. Also there is no equal justice or civil rights for minority religionists like Christians or even for minority Muslim groups in most of these countries.

Restrictions on religion in that area are logically rising since the entire region seems to becoming more radical when it comes to Islam.

I noticed that China was not on the ‘most restrictive’ list since they claim to have constitutionally defined ‘freedom of religion’. Tell that to the 100 million or so ‘House Church’ members in that country that continue to be persecuted by the government. ‘Freedom of religion’ in China merely means that you re free to join one of the state sponsored churches or religious organizations.               *Top

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2 Responses to -Religious Freedom in Decline Around the World

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