75% of World’s Population Now Lacks Religious Freedom

A new study highlights the growing global trend of religious restrictions, whether by means of government action or social trends- limiting regulations are currently affecting three out of every four individuals.

The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, is titled “Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion” and showed that the percentage of the world’s population that was affected by restrictions on religion increased to 75 percent. That’s up from 70 percent the previous year.

What is equally disturbing is the rise of various countries around the globe that have enacted stricter laws governing the observances of practices of faith. The study found that the percentage of countries who adopted such measures increased from 31 percent to 37 percent.

The study lists some government restrictions which include laws against “proselytism” or “blasphemy.” It also includes laws limiting some countries citizens’ choice of religious materials, such as Uzbekistan, which only recognizes religious materials produced by the state.

Social restrictions, on the other hand are not controlled by the state and can include ostracism, mob action, or other community-based action in response to the exercise of faith. These specific social occurrences are often able to manifest due to the inaction of local authorities.

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