(Excerpt, Report Summary)
A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life. Restrictions on religion rose in each of the five major regions of the world – including in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions where overall restrictions previously had been declining.
Restrictions on religion rose not only in countries that began the year with high or very high restrictions or hostilities, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, but also in many countries that began with low or moderate restrictions or hostilities, such as Switzerland and the United States. (See sidebar on the U.S..)
The rising tide of restrictions in the latest year studied is attributable to a variety of factors, including increases in crimes, malicious acts and violence motivated by religious hatred or bias, as well as increased government interference with worship or other religious practices. For instance, a November 2009 constitutional referendum in Switzerland banned the construction of minarets on mosques in the country. In Indonesia, more than two dozen churches were forced to close due to pressure from Islamist extremists or, in some instances, local officials. And in Nigeria, violence between Christian and Muslim communities, including a series of deadly attacks, escalated throughout the period.
Show Description: “We’ve repeatedly talked on State of Belief about the misapplication of the terms “religious freedom” and “religious liberty” to describe an ever-growing list of perceived threats, as defined by conservative Christian leaders, but how is religious freedom really doing? Author of a new study from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life entitled “Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion,” Dr. Brian Grim joins Welton this week to talk about the trends he found across the globe and the challenges to a number of common assumptions that arose.”
Category: Americas, Asia, Eurasia, Europe, Human Rights & Gender, Islamic Theology & Law, Middle East and North Africa, Muslim Life & Culture, Politics & Current Events, Security & Civil Liberties, Sub-Saharan, East, and West Africa, Surveys & Studies