Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High

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The share of countries with a high or very high level ofsocial hostilities involving religion reached a six-year peak in 2012, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. A third (33%) of the 198 countries and territories included in the study had high religious hostilities in 2012, up from 29% in 2011 and 20% as of mid-2007. Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas. The sharpest increase was in the Middle East and North Africa, which still is feeling the effects of the 2010-11 political uprisings known as the Arab Spring.1 There also was a significant increase in religious hostilities in the Asia-Pacific region, where China edged into the “high” category for the first time.

The share of countries with a high or very high level ofgovernment restrictions on religion stayed roughly the same in the latest year studied. About three-in-ten countries in the world (29%) had a high or very high level of government restrictions in 2012, compared with 28% in 2011 and 20% as of mid-2007. Europe had the biggest increase in the median level of government restrictions in 2012, followed closely by the Middle East-North Africa – the only other region where the median level of government restrictions on religion rose.

Looking at the overall level of restrictions – whether resulting from government policies or from social hostilities – the study finds that restrictions on religion are high or very high in 43% of countries, also a six-year high. Because some of these countries (like China) are very populous, more than 5.3 billion people (76% of the world’s population) live in countries with a high or very high level of restrictions on religion, up from 74% in 2011 and 68% as of mid-2007.

Written By: PEW Research
continue to source article at pewforum.org

11 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by Fritz:

      WHY do I get “unauthorise access” after ONE successful post???

      Sorry, my spiritual gall bladder was off on it’s own making mischeif with the RD.net site. Try again I have it back in my body now and I told it to knock it off.

      Or (less likely but just for completeness) it could be a glitch in the rd.net security. Clear your browser cache, restart your router and browser and try again.

    • In reply to #3 by Fritz:

      This is all VERY confusing, to me. “Social Hostility”… what the … does that mean?

      It’s not confusing at all. This is common in public policy research. You define some metric like social hostility and then you search through databases of news reports, etc. and collect the data in a new database which you then can do statistical analysis on. If you dig into the article you will find operational definitions for what “social hostility” means in the article and then more detail in the foot notes. From the article:

      The Social Hostilities Index (SHI) measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society. This includes religion-related armed conflict or terrorism, mob or sectarian violence, harassment over attire for religious reasons or other religion-related intimidation or abuse. The SHI includes 13 measures of social hostilities.2

  1. How do we know a “six-year high” in data is anything more than a random blip? A given year has a good chance of being a six-year high. Is there a statistically significant trend in this data?

  2. With regard to the “Arab Spring”, it brought home to me how fortunate we in the UK are to have, albeit imperfect, a well established governmental infrastructure.

    Given the sectarian divisions in Western Asia I couldn’t envisage the revolution doing anything other than what it eventually did.

    • In reply to #6 by Stafford Gordon:

      With regard to the “Arab Spring”, it brought home to me how fortunate we in the UK are to have, albeit imperfect, a well established governmental infrastructure.

      Given the sectarian divisions in Western Asia I couldn’t envisage the revolution doing anything other than what it eventually did.

      I don’t think we were “fortunate” to have a well established government infrastructure, it was shit for the first few hundreds of years. In that light the Arab Spring is incredibly fast and they should not be surprised at the way things are going. Remember we still celebrate Guy Fawkes for his failure to upset the system that he didn’t think worked for him and his pals.

      Perhaps they’ll have their own Morsi Day, very similar religious motivation?

      • In reply to #9 by alaskansee:

        In reply to #6 by Stafford Gordon:

        With regard to the “Arab Spring”, it brought home to me how fortunate we in the UK are to have, albeit imperfect, a well established governmental infrastructure.

        Given the sectarian divisions in Western Asia I couldn’t envisage the revolution doing anything other…

        I accept your points, but, we have Magna Carta Libertatum and they have not; MC is fundamental to our jurisdiction, enshrining the principle of one law for all, including the Monarch; ah yes, I can hear you from here, pigs might fly you say, but it’s better than nothing I think, albeit it rarely if ever being invoked.

        But, there’s a murky beast lurking on the horizon which, apparently, is being invoked in “some minority communities” in the UK as an alternative to our long established legal principle of OLFA.

        Precisely what that alternative is I don’t know because the media aren’t as yet naming it, but I know someone who can inform me as to what it is, and I’m going to ask her.

        We’re at liberty to carp about our imperfect legal system, but we mustn’t become complacent, because that liberty to complain is not immutable.

  3. Imagine no religion, said John!
    If there were no religion, The Origin of Species would have been the biological version of the bible.
    All generations of school kids over the past centuries would have learned about biology and the realities of evolution instead of a bible and our society would be in a substantially more advanced state than it is today.

    The genome may have been cracked 50 years sooner than it did. A cure for cancer, aids and the common flu would have been developed by now and we would be living in a content, inert and sustainable society.
    Instead we flood the world with religion and create a phenomena known as de-volution where our thoughts and theories are hijacked, re-programmed and become stagnant.

    Unfortunately, history will reveal how negative an influence religion has been on human society to date.
    It will also reveal how centuries of precious time has been wasted educating our human resources with religious teachings.
    Children love animals and nature, it keeps there attention and increases school attendances, however the evolution of species is rejected by religious schools as a myth.
    Ask any high school student what a pan-troglodyte is? No idea due to suppressed reality!
    The only real benefit of religion is population reduction through war, martyrdom and terrorism…

    The discovery and study of the bonobo ape shows us that instinctual behaviours evolve over millions of years.
    Acts of love and morality are not a phenomena invented by religious humans, it is in our nature.
    These findings also defeat the common religious/political assumption that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral.
    Sustainable human populations would be achieved by a thriving gay community, and no, I am not gay.

    I pity those faithful believers who are wasting their lives conforming to fairy tales when they come to the realisation that precious life is brief and death is the ONLY eternal aspect. Religion is a burden of lies, to survive as a species we must diverge from religion, adapt to reality and evolve.

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