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World survey of religious freedom finds ‘Islamic hyper-extremism’ the greatest threat

November 15, 2016

A worldwide survery of religious freedom has found that “Islamic hyper-extremism” is wreaking havoc, especially in the Middle East, prompting brutal violence and creating an unprecedented surge of refugees.

The Religious Freedom in the World 2016 report, produced by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, sees the Islamic State as the primary example of “Islamic hyper-extremism.” The phenomenon, displaying barbarous cruelty and complete intolerance of other views, is most powerful in Iraq and Syria, where it is “eliminating all forms of religious diversity and is threatening to do so in parts of Africa and the Asian subcontinent,” the report says.

In an introduction to the report, Father Jacques Mourad, who was kidnapped by the Islamic State and held for several months before being released, warns that “our world teeters on the brink of a complete catastrophe as extremism threatens to wipe out all trace of diversity in society.”

The world has seen a flood of refugees, reaching an all-time high of 65.3 million. The report points to Islamic extremism as they “key driver” in the displacement of peoples, with millions fleeing frmo Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq.

The report draws attention to setbacks for religious freedom outside the Islamic world, particularly in China and Turkmenistan. On the other hand, it sees promising gains for religious freedom in Egypt, Bhutan, and Qatar.

 
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