We often take for granted the religious freedoms we enjoy in the United States. We assume that others around the world have the same freedoms that we do. However, a new Pew Forum study may help us gain a better understanding of the reality of the world situation.
You can link to the full study here. A summary of the findings can be found in the charts below:
Christianity Today makes these observations:
The Global Restrictions On Religion report finds that only about one-third of the world’s countries impose high restrictions on religion, but these 64 nations contain 70 percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people (thanks to India and China). While almost half of the world’s countries impose low restrictions on religion, this good sign is mitigated by the fact that they only account for 15 percent of world population.
And then later…
Other findings of interest:
- 75 countries (38%) have governments that limit efforts at evangelism or proselytizing.
- 178 countries (90%) require registration of religious groups, and in 117 countries (59%) registration requirements result in problems or discrimination against certain faiths.
- Most countries (87%) have experienced public tensions between religious groups in recent years. Such tensions involved physical violence in 126 countries (64%).
- Faith-based terrorism killed people in nearly 1 in 10 countries worldwide.
I was surprised to see that the U.S. is not the most religiously “free”, according to this study. Read the full study and then let me know what you think.