Hostility Towards Religion Rising

Hello readers! Happy Sunday! Hope you all had a great weekend. Today’s Soulful Sunday post will be about religion in general. Again, I won’t be giving my opinion in this post, just the facts. I may also post a video with George Carlin talking about religion. Again, not necessarily my views, but it goes well with the post. Read on and enjoy this post! You’ll see this disclaimer again at the end!

Hostility towards religion is on the rise and a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life confirms it. The study finds that government restrictions and social hostilities towards religion are on the rise in the world’s most populated countries. According to the study, 2.2 billion people, nearly a third of the world’s population, live in countries where restrictions or hostilities increased from 2006 to 2009.  Six out of the twenty-five most populated countries (Vietnam, China, Russia, Nigeria, Thailand and the United Kingdom) the substantial increases were due to rising levels of social hostilities, while two out of the twenty-five countries (Egypt and France) increased due to government restrictions. 

The study also found that countries that saw increases in religious hostilities were already facing high levels of restrictions and hostilities. Countries that saw little to no increase or decrease in religious hostilities already scored low when it came to religious restrictions and social hostilities.  North Africa and the Middle East were the highest of five global regions when it comes to social hostilities and government restrictions towards religion. The United States, Japan, Brazil, Italy and South Africa had the lowest governmental restrictions and social hostilities towards religion.

In addition, the study also found that Christians and Muslims, who make up more than half of the world’s population, were the most harassed religious groups in the largest number of countries. Christians were harassed in more than 130 countries, while Muslims were harassed in more than 117. Jews, who make up less than 1 percent of the world’s population faced restrictions and hostilities in more than 75 countries.

The data from the study came from analysis of concrete government policies and actions on religious practices and incidents of religious violence or intolerance. Data from the revolutions that took place earlier this year in northern Africa and the Middle East were not included. Neither was the massacre in Norway that occurred in July.

For the full report, go here

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