Pew Forum: Religious Hostilities on the Rise World-wide

In the period from 2007 – 2012, news reports of religious hostilities have increased significantly.

A report just released by the Pew Research Center shows a dramatic increase in religious persecution worldwide in the past six years.  According to Pew:

Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas.  The sharpest increase was in the Middle East and North Africa, which still is feeling the effects of the 2010-11 political uprisings known as the Arab Spring.  There also was a significant increase in religious hostilities in the Asia-Pacific region, where China edged into the “high” category for the first time.

One troubling indicator in the report:  There has been a sizable increase in the share of countries with high or very high levels of hostilities regarding religion.  For example, religious minorities have been abused by private individuals or groups in society for acts perceived as offensive or threatening to the majority faith of the country.

The study reveals a troubling intolerance for people of faith:

  • In 39% of countries, violence, or the threat of violence, was used to compel people to adhere to religious norms.
  • In 32% of countries, there was harassment of women over religious dress,
  • 25% of countries experienced mob violence related to religion.
  • 20% of countries experienced religion-related terrorist violence.

The study further details the incidence of government interference with worship or religious practices; restrictions imposed on public preaching; and government use of force against religious groups or individuals.

There’s much more.  You’ll want to check out the full report, here.