According to the report by Pew, “5.3 billion people which are 76 percent of the world’s population, live in countries with a high or very high level of restrictions on religion.
A new study by the Pew Research Center found that since 2012 with the exception of the America, restrictions, persecution and threats towards people of faith increased in every major region of the world in. The study also revealed that Christians are more likely to be persecuted worldwide than any other religious community.
U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his hopefulness that the “Arab Spring” would give rise to more religious freedom in North Africa and the Middle East, which has had the world’s highest level of aggression towards religion. The more recent study finds that these regions actually experienced the largest increase in religious resentments in 2012.
Pew has conducted the study in the six years; Christians were being harassed for their faith in 151 countries and Muslims in 135. Collectively, these two groups represent the world’s two largest religious groups and more than half of the world’s population.
Jews experienced religious persecution in 95 countries, which make up less than one percent of the world’s population. Researchers also found an increase in religious harassment in countries where Hindus, Buddhists or followers of other traditional religions prevailed.
“Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Burma (Myanmar) had the most restrictions on religion in 2012,” the report stated.
Pakistan had the highest level of social aggression involving religion, while Egypt had the highest level of government restrictions on religious practice, Pew found.
Syria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and Burma rose to the “very high” level of social aggression towards religion last year.