Religious intolerance is at an all time high with many people around the world suffering from acts of hatred. Never before has violence and discrimination been committed on people from different faiths like it is today. A study done by Pew Research Center has brought to the forefront just how entrenched religious discrimination has become.
According to the research that was carried out across 198 countries, social hostilities have been on a steady rise, with attacks on religious groups by rival religions being a common occurrence. These attacks have historically been and still are concentrated mostly in North Africa and the Middle East. The research further confirms fears that religious hostilities have been on a steady rise in almost all parts of the world except North and South America. However the researchers who have always been non-partisan when it comes to their reports did not give any reason why there seems to be a rise in religious hostilities.
Other parts of the report suggest that Buddhists and Hindus are the least affected when it comes to religious hostilities and attacks among the different religious groups. The most affected are Jews, Christians and Muslims. According to the report religious groups face increased hostility, with about 76% of the world population going through some form of religious persecution.
The research also suggests a tremendous increase of religious intolerance in Europe related to the harassment of women due to how they dress based on their religion. The research lists a few countries that restrict any form of worship, such as China, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
According to Pew, Christians and Muslims make up the largest population of targeted religions.
It is worth noting that Jews are the most targeted religion when it comes to religious intolerance. Jews make up only 0.2% of the population of the world and yet they suffer hostilities in approximately 71 countries in the world.
The research did not categorize war and terrorism as an act of religious intolerance due to the fact that it was extremely difficult to know the extent by which such acts are motivated. It is really hard to ascertain whether a certain cause is motivated by religion or by any other factor.
Most people would wonder where North Korea stands in all this. Well, the country was not included in this research due to the inability to get religious data, due to the fact that the country’s society is so secluded from the rest of the world.
- “Religious Hostilities Reach Six-Year High” – Pew Research Center
- “Religious groups face increased hostility worldwide – report” – Reuters UK