Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High
A third of the 198 countries studied had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion in 2012. About three-in-ten countries had a high or very high level of government restrictions on religion, roughly the same as in 2011.
In Brief: Supreme Court Revisits Legislative Prayer in Town of Greece v. Galloway
The U.S. Supreme Court will revisit the issue of legislative prayer when it hears oral arguments on Nov. 6 in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case involving a challenge to a municipality’s practice of beginning each town board meeting with an invocation.
Arab Spring Adds to Global Restrictions on Religion
Pew Research’s fourth major report on global restrictions on religion finds that the share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religion rose from 37% in 2010 to 40% in 2011. The Middle East and North Africa continued to have the highest levels of restrictions in the year when much of the Arab Spring uprisings occurred, with social hostilities involving religion increasing markedly and government restrictions remaining high.
Iranians’ Views Mixed on Political Role for Religious Figures
As Iranians prepare to elect a new president on June 14, a Pew Research survey shows that just 40% think religious figures should play a large role in politics, while a quarter say religious figures should have some influence, and three-in-ten believe they should have little or no influence. But an overwhelming majority of Iranians say they back the use of Islamic law.
Federal Appeals Case Brings Contraception Coverage Mandate Back Into Spotlight
Some for-profit businesses are joining religiously affiliated nonprofits in challenging the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate, claiming it violates their religious liberty rights. A Pew Research Center analysis reviews the situation before a significant case is heard by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
A new survey report looks at attitudes among Muslims in 39 countries on a wide range of topics, from science to sharia, polygamy to popular culture. The survey finds that overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law to be the official law of their land, but there is also widespread support for democracy and religious freedom.
TEDx: Religious Freedom by the Numbers
State Legislation Restricting Use of Foreign or Religious Law
On Monday, the Oklahoma Senate passed a bill intended to prevent the use of foreign law in state courts. The bill contains language from model legislation designed to limit the use of sharia, or Islamic law. A new interactive map details similar bills introduced or enacted in 32 states between 2010 and 2012.
Applying God’s Law: Religious Courts and Mediation in the U.S.
Across the U.S., religious courts operate on a routine, everyday basis. How do some of the country’s major Christian traditions and other religions – including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism – decide internal matters and apply their religious laws?
The Contraception Mandate and Religious Liberty
On Feb. 1, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new rules for how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate applies to religious nonprofits, including houses of worship, schools and hospitals. Church-state law scholars Ira C. Lupu and Robert Tuttle explain the new rules and the legal arguments that religious groups might make.