First Liberty Briefing: Why a Renewed Commitment to Religious Freedom is of Urgency

First Liberty Briefing: Why a Renewed Commitment to Religious Freedom is of Urgency September 28, 2017

Recent studies prove that worldwide hostility to religion is increasing, and even more alarming is that government restrictions are not the only restrictions against religion. Learn more about the urgency to protect religious freedom at

Thank you for joining us for the First Liberty Briefing, an exclusive podcast where host Jeremy Dys—also First Liberty Senior Counsel—provides an insider’s look at the stories, cases, people and laws that have made America the world’s leader in protecting religious liberty.

Why a Renewed Commitment to Religious Freedom is of Urgency

Well, the numbers are out and they don’t look good.

Why a Renewed Commitment to Religious Freedom is of Urgency
Image: Jenseny Augustave

According to the Pew Research Center, for the first time in three years, worldwide hostility to religion increased in the year 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, those countries marked with “high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions—actual government policies and activity restricting the free exercise of the religion of its people—grew a full percentage point. During that same time period, social hostilities increased 4%. “Social hostilities” are “acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society.”

So, even if the government was not hostile in terms of official policy, the private actions of its people grew significantly.

Looking at the big picture, whether its government policies or private individuals, 40% of the countries across the globe are hostile to religion. That means that the world is inching closer to a majority of countries demonstrating hostility towards religion.

Of course, we can be immediately thankful for the great many protections we possess as Americans. But, let us not be lulled into thinking that our experiment in liberty is the historical norm.

Religious freedom is not something passed on from one generation to another by virtue of our DNA. It requires every generation to renew its commitment to liberty—and especially religious liberty—both here and abroad.

To learn how First Liberty is protecting Religious Liberty for all Americans, visit

First Liberty Institute is the largest organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to protecting religious freedom for all Americans. Find out more here.

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