5.3 billion people face harsh religious freedom restrictions

(RNS) Most of the world’s population (76 percent), lives in countries with high levels of social and government restrictions on religion, according to a new Pew Research Center report.

The sharp rise is due to hostilities in China, which for the first time in the survey’s six-year history, scored a “high” level of religious strife. Home to more than 1.3 billion people, China experienced an increase in religion-related terrorism, mob violence and sectarian conflict.

The greatest levels of social hostilities toward religion were felt in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Somalia, Israel and Iraq, according to the report.

Among the world’s most populous countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Burma had the worst overall religious restrictions in 2012, while Brazil, the Philippines, Japan, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had the fewest.



11 thoughts on “5.3 billion people face harsh religious freedom restrictions

  1. Someone has to say it:-
    Given the oft-cited claim that only 2% of a general population is actually atheist, then it must follow, ‘as night follows day’, that the 5.3 billion people who suffer daily religious restrictions are having the restrictions imposed by other religious people.

    ’twas it not ever so?


    • “lives in countries with high levels of social and government restrictions on religion”

      Hmm, and here I thought it was Govt. and hardline Secularists.


      • For 2% of non-religious people in a given population are to give the other 98% of people a hard time they’d have their work cut out for them. 😉


      • Ever heard of those pain in the butt atheists who take everything to court?

        How have you been coping with the heat Dabbles? I was thinking about you today.


      • An effort to stamp out superstition and the power of the Church led to only some suppression of religion, I think. From as far back as the Crusades and holy wars, one faith often considers others to be ‘spawns of Satan’, more or less, best eliminated in God’s name


      • You’re not fond of arithmetic, are you Kate.? Doesn’t jell very well with ‘belief’.

        Thanks for the thought; the heat does make it a bit difficult. Less oxygen per lungful of air. But I manage (hugely impressed by modern drugs!)…and don’t expect to get out of here alive anyway.
        Yesterday wasn’t bad though. I spent near three hours in the car trying to get up to a friend’s place. which was surrounded by seven fires ~ one very serious and another monster one about 20 km into the forest ~ with nobody able to predict the wind among the mountains. One local fire-engine to go around.
        By the time I got to Orbost they’d closed the Bonang. So another 3 or so hours back: 5/6 hours with the (very good Ford) A/C ‘Max’ going full blast ~ struggling a bit though, I must say. It was HOT!

        Just got back in time to pick up the ‘Watch and Act’ warning for here (big blaze about 3 km away as the embers fly) and for a friend’s property a bit further to the north – but only 10 minutes out. (and she was at work.) Problem was that while the bureau was predicting a wind-change, it’s not possible to predict by how much or windspeeds.

        Made sure the dogs were ok and went over there with tools that would allow me to take down fences and get her horses and dogs out pdq and into the relative safety of the well-watered and mowed golf-course.
        The wind turned and drove the fire back into the mountains, but made it more ferocious….and I can’t help feeling so sad for the native animals which often don’t even have the sense to get clear. They just stand there and burn alive. I’m always tempted to do something about it, but usually can’t.

        Much quieter this morning, though the ‘Watch and Act’ warning is still up.
        ….and we’re all still here! Too busy to think about the heat, to answer your question, 😉

        Meanwhile, up on the Bonang they’re not answering phones, so I guess they’re too busy to think about the heat too. Only one mountain road in/out, with biggish fires at either end.
        …..and, as usual, nobody quite got around to making proper preparations.

        Fingers crossed.


      • Thanks for the kind thoughts, but I grew aware of the need to operate within my limitations as part of my growing-up period.
        …about five years ago. 😉


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