Almost all of the world’s nations have laws specifying at which age a couple can marry, and in most of these countries, those under the age of 18 are allowed to wed.
Apostasy and blasphemy may seem to many like artifacts of history. But in dozens of countries around the world, laws against apostasy and blasphemy remain on the books and often are enforced.
In 2014, the median level of religious hostilities in the Middle East and North Africa reached a level four times that of the global median.
Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey had some of the highest levels of religious restrictions in 2014.
While significant shares of Israeli Arabs and Jews are optimistic about the prospect of a two-state solution, those who would live in this new independent state – the Arabs currently in the Palestinian territories – are less optimistic about it.
They come in several basic styles, with some more favored by particular Jewish subgroups than others.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, Israel’s largest wave of Jewish immigrants arrived from Russia and other former Soviet republics. These Soviet Jews brought a secular mindset to Israel, and more than two decades later, Jews who were born in the former Soviet Union continue to be noticeably less religious than Israeli Jews overall.
Israeli Druze make up roughly 2% of the country’s population and live mostly in the northern regions of the Galilee, Carmel and the Golan Heights. Their tradition dates back to the 11th century and incorporates elements of Islam, Hinduism and even classical Greek philosophy.
Americans place less importance on religion in their lives than do people in a number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia -- but more than residents of many other Western and European countries.
The regulation of abortion may vary widely from country to country, but nearly all nations – 96% – allow women to terminate their pregnancies in order to save their lives.