Religious freedom: who has it worldwide?


(Guardian) – To measure religious restrictions around the world, the Pew Research Center has attempted to look at government policies and social hostilities. Their findings suggest that religious hostilities are at their highest level since 2007.

We’ve mapped all of their results here. Click on the drop down list to view social factors rather than governmental ones, click on a country to see past results, search for places and share your results on social media.

Higher scores reflect less religious freedom – you can find more detail on the results below the map.

The government score is based on 20 questions about government laws, policies and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices. They include efforts by governments to ban particular faiths, prohibit conversions, limit preaching or give preferential treatment to one or more religious groups.

The social hostilities score is similarly broad as it considers private individuals, organizations or groups in society. The 13 measures in this score include religion-related armed conflict or terrorism, mob or sectarian violence, harassment over attire for religious reasons or other religion-related intimation or abuse.

There are some startling results. 12% of countries had experienced mob violence related to religion in 2007. By 2012, it was 25%. Sectarian violence rose at a similarly fast rate.

Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Myanmar had the most restrictions on religion in 2012, when both government restrictions and social hostilities are taken into account.