flagsWritten by Don Byrd

The Pew Research Center has released its annual report on trends in religious restrictions and hostilities. The good news, such that it is, is that countries with high levels of social hostilities involving religion fell from 33% in 2012 to 27% in 2013. Countries with high government restrictions on religion likewise dipped, from 29% to 27% in 2013. But overall the religious liberty picture across the world reveals that a large portion of the global population does not enjoy true religious freedom.

Here is an excerpt from the report:

Looking at the overall level of restrictions – whether resulting from government policies or from hostile acts by private individuals, organizations and social groups – the study finds that restrictions on religion were high or very high in 39% of countries. Because some of these countries (like China and India) are very populous, about 5.5 billion people (77% of the world’s population) were living in countries with a high or very high overall level of restrictions on religion in 2013, up from 76% in 2012 and 68% as of 2007.

Browse the report site for more information. There are helpful charts – some with very disturbing statistics, like the global increase in hostility toward Jews – and other details regarding the data used to reach these conclusions.