A new study by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation reports on the extent to which governments and societies around the world impinge on religious beliefs and practices. Here are seven figures you should know from the study about trends in religious hostilities:
1. Of the 198 countries included in the study — covering 99.5 percent of the world’s population — 24 percent had high or very high levels of government restrictions in 2014 (the most recent year for which data are available), down from 28 percent in 2013. (Note: North Korea is not included in the study.)
2. The share of countries with high or very high social hostilities involving religion, which dropped from 27 percent to 23 percent. The increase in the number of countries with religion-related terrorist activity – which is counted as a social hostility in this study – was offset by decreases in the number of countries that experienced other types of social hostilities involving religion.