From the article:
‘In many countries around the world, it remains difficult for people of all religions to practice their faith freely. And in others, it’s getting harder.
A Pew Research Center report released Tuesday shows that the number of countries with high levels of religious restrictions ― either from the government or from hostile individuals or groups ― grew overall from 34 percent in 2014 to 40 percent in 2015, the latest year for which data is available. (…)
Consistent with previous years, the Middle East-North Africa region had the largest percentage of governments that harassed and used force against religious groups (95 percent). European countries came in second, at 89 percent. Europe also experienced the largest increase in government harassment (rising from 17 countries in 2014 to 27 countries in 2015) and use of force against religious groups (going from 15 countries in 2014 to 24 countries in 2015). In particular, Pew pointed to France for cases where individuals were punished for wearing face coverings in public spaces and Russia for prosecuting groups for publicly exercising their religion.’
Read the whole article by Carol Kuruvilla here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pew-global-religious-restrictions_us_58ed070be4b0ca64d919ab12.
In my forthcoming book on Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human I write that before I left for Princeton I already had the sense that, as the then United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Heiner Bielefeld noted in 2012, religious freedom was globally becoming ‘a human right under pressure’. Political scientist Allen D. Hertzke, the editor of a recent volume on the future of the right to freedom of religion or belief, speaks about ‘a profound paradox of our age’, in the sense that ‘at the very time that the value of religious freedom is mounting, the international consensus behind it is weakening (…). Indeed we see not only widespread violations around the world, but looming threats in the West that jeopardize previous gains’.
This is the twelfth post in a new series introducing my new book.
For the first eleven posts, please see: