Rising Restrictions on Religion - One-third of the world’s population experiences an increase
Social Hostilities Index
The following table shows all 198 countries and territories in descending order of their scores on the Pew Forum’s index of social hostilities involving religion as of mid-2009. The Pew Forum has not attached numerical rankings to the countries because there are numerous tie scores and the differences between the scores of countries that are close to each other on this table are not necessarily meaningful. This is particularly the case at the low end of the scale: The range of scores among the 40 countries in the Very High (top 5%) and high (next 15%) categories is greater than the range of scores among the 115 countries in the Low (bottom 60%) category.
top 5% of scores
|Scores from 7.2 to 8.3|
Next 15% of scores
|Scores from 4.7 to 7.1|
|Palestinian territories||Kenya||Burma (Myanmar)|
Next 20% of scores
|Scores from 2.5 to 4.6|
|Greece||Central African Republic||United States|
|Belarus||Uzbekistan||Republic of Macedonia|
|Bahrain||Papua New Guinea|
Bottom 60% of scores
|Scores from 0.0 to 2.4|
|South Africa||Cameroon||Republic of Congo|
|Malaysia||United Arab Emirates||Cape Verde|
|Trinidad and Tobago||New Zealand||Malta|
|Iceland||St. Vincent and the Grenadines||Belize|
|Kiribati||Costa Rica||Federated States of Micronesia|
|Czech Republic||Antigua and Barbuda||Macau|
|Norway||St. Kitts and Nevis||Monaco|
|Lithuania||Guinea Bissau||San Marino|
|Fiji||Honduras||Sao Tome and Principe|
Denotes a substantial increase from mid-2006 to mid-2009.
Denotes a substantial decrease from mid-2006 to mid-2009.
NOTE: The number of countries in each percentile range may be slightly more or less than the actual percentage because of tie scores. Substantial increase or decrease is defined as a change of at least 1.5 standard deviations above or below the mean amount of change among all 198 countries on each index. The change also had to be in the same direction over the periods studied. (See Methodology for more details.)
North Korea: The sources clearly indicate that the government of North Korea is among the most repressive in the world with respect to religion as well as other civil liberties. But because North Korean society is effectively closed to outsiders, the sources are unable to provide the kind of specific and timely information that the Pew Forum coded in this quantitative study. Therefore, the report does not include a score for North Korea on either index.