One-third of world's people subject to growing restrictions on religion
August 12, 2011
A new study by the Pew Forum has found that restrictions on religion are rising in countries that account for one-third of the world’s population.
Restraints on religious activity became more pronounced in 23 different countries between 2006 and 2009, the Pew study found. Restrictions were eased in another 12 countries. But the countries that added restrictions were far more heavily populated.
The Pew study distinguished between restrictions on religious freedom caused by government policies and those due to social hostility. The report found more adverse government policies in countries such as France, Egypt, Algeria, Uganda. Social hostility grew, the report said, in places like China, Nigeria, and Russia.
The Pew Forum found that government restrictions on religion are most pronounced in Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and China. The five countries seen with the highest level of hostility toward religious activities were Iraq, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
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