n International Journal for Religious Freedom - Rising restrictions on religion - context, statistics and implications

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2070-5484



This article discusses statistics from recent studies by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life. It begins with general findings and a discussion of the general global context. It then examines three questions directly related to religious freedom. First, do constitutional protections for religious freedom matter? Second, do blasphemy, apostasy and anti-defamation of religion laws matter? And third, is there a relationship between government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion? The article then looks at the implications by describing how high levels of government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion in the Middle East and North Africa relate to these three issues. The article concludes with a review of the theoretical and statistical model of Grim and Finke (2007 and 2011) that finds religious persecution and violence to be the result of higher restrictions by governments and groups in society on the freedom to practice religion.

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