A Closer Look at How Religious Restrictions Have Risen Around the World
Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, government restrictions on religion – laws, policies and actions by state officials that restrict religious beliefs and practices – increased markedly around the world.
Restrictions on religion among the world’s 25 most populous countries
Among the 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey have the most restrictions on religion, while Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, the Dem. Rep. of the Congo and the U.S. have the fewest restrictions.
Global Uptick in Government Restrictions on Religion in 2016
Restrictions on religion increased in 2016 for the second straight year. Nationalist parties and organizations played an increasing role in harassment of religious minorities, especially in Europe.
Many Countries Favor Specific Religions, Officially or Unofficially
Islam is the most common state religion, but many governments give privileges to Christianity.
Restrictions on religion among the 25 most populous countries, 2007-2015
Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Russia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria stand out as having the most restrictions on religion (as of the end of 2015) when both government restrictions and religious hostilities are taken into account.
Global Restrictions on Religion Rise Modestly in 2015, Reversing Downward Trend
Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years. Government harassment and use of force surged in Europe, as did social hostilities against Muslims.
Where the Public Stands on Religious Liberty vs. Nondiscrimination
The U.S. public expresses a clear consensus on the contentious question of whether employers who have religious objections to contraception should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for their employees.
Trends in Global Restrictions on Religion
Restrictions on Women’s Religious Attire
Many countries have laws that ban or limit women from wearing religious attire in public places. By comparison, far fewer countries require women to wear particular types of attire for religious reasons.
Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities
Social hostilities toward religion declined in 2013, while government restrictions on religious beliefs and practices remained level. Harassment of Jews, however, reached a seven-year high.