Many Countries Penalize Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion
As of 2011 nearly half of the countries and territories in the world (47%) have laws or policies that penalize blasphemy, apostasy or religious defamation.
Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion
Three-quarters of the world’s approximately 7 billion people now live in countries with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, up from 70% a year earlier.
Catholics Share Bishops’ Concerns about Religious Liberty
Catholics who are aware of U.S. bishops’ concerns about restrictions on religious liberty generally agree with the bishops’ concerns, according to a new report. Yet there are no significant differences in presidential vote preferences between Catholic voters who have heard and those who have not heard about the bishops’ protests against government policies they see as restrictive of religious liberty.
Rising Restrictions on Religion
More than 2.2 billion people — nearly a third (32%) of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion — live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009.
Churches in Court
American religious institutions have been at the center of many legal controversies in recent years. These and related lawsuits raise complex constitutional questions that have been troubling American courts for more than a century. Are legal disputes involving churches and other religious institutions constitutionally different from those involving their secular counterparts, and if so, how?
Indonesia’s Place Along the Spectrum of Global Religious Restriction
Indonesia, where President Barack Obama will visit this month and where he spent part of his childhood, is among those countries of the globe where such restrictions and hostilities are highest.
Global Restrictions on Religion
Since some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, nearly 70% of the world’s 6.8 billion people live in countries with severe restrictions on religion.
Sikh-Americans and Religious Liberty
With their religious beliefs requiring distinctive elements of dress and appearance — wearing a turban, keeping hair and beards uncut, carrying a kirpan — Sikhs have been a part of many legal disputes. In an interview, church-state scholar Robert W. Tuttle discusses religious liberty and accommodation issues involving Sikh-Americans.
Ten Years of U.S. Efforts to Promote Religious Freedom
A scholar describes the controversy surrounding the passage of the International Religious Freedom Act in 1998 and discusses its impact worldwide.
The Plight of Iraq’s Religious Minorities
Since 2003, sectarian violence, ambiguous legal protections for religious freedom, and other factors have contributed to a deteriorating situation for Christians and other small religious sects.