Restrictions on Religion, a recent report by the Pew Research Center’s
Forum on Religion and Public Life, finds that restrictions on religious beliefs
and practices rose between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the world’s 198
countries (12%), decreased in 12 countries (6%) and remained essentially unchanged
in 163 countries (82%).
Because several countries with increasing restrictions on
religion are very populous, however, the increases affect a much larger share
of people than of states. More than 2.2 billion people – nearly a third (32%)
of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion – live in countries where either
government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion
rose substantially over the three-year period studied.
Explore the report using the table of contents to the right or the resources below.
Full Report: Read through the preface, executive summary, report chapters and methodology.
2009 Report: A December 2009 report, Global Restrictions on Religion, established baseline levels of religious restrictions in 198 countries due both to government actions and to acts of violence and intimidation by private individuals, organizations and social groups.
Download the full report as a PDF (7.21MB 117 pages)
Download the Summary of Results as a PDF (1.03MB 21 pages)
Download the Results by Country as a PDF (1.01MB 48 pages)
Download the Index Scores by Region as a PDF (951KB 7 pages)
Download all the graphics and charts created for this report as a .zip file (1.4MB 50 graphics).
Click on an image to view it
Principal researcher Brian Grim presented the report at a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in February 2012.
Read the press release in English (PDF).
Read the English Press release from the day the report was published, Aug. 9, 2011.
This report is part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project.