Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Non-U.S. Governments

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    Concern About Extremist Threat Slips in Pakistan

    Overwhelmingly, Pakistanis see terrorism as a major problem in their country and most have negative views of the Taliban and al Qaeda, but they have become less concerned over the last year that extremists will take over Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistanis continue to express serious concerns about the U.S. and their longtime rival India.

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    Briefing on U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy

    The following briefing by Brian J. Grim, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, was presented to the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight on the Pew Forum’s findings on restrictions on religion around the world. Good morning. I would like to begin by […]

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    End of Communism Cheered but Now with More Reservations

    Publics of former Iron Curtain countries generally look back approvingly at the collapse of communism. Majorities in most former Soviet republics and Eastern European countries endorse the emergence of democracy and capitalism. However, the initial enthusiasm about these changes has dimmed in most of the countries surveyed.

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    Pakistani Public Opinion

    Pakistani public opinion has turned against al Qaeda and the Taliban, and no fewer than 69% of those polled express worry that extremists will take control of the nation. Ratings for President Asif Ali Zardari have also plummeted, as Pakistanis see their country in crisis.

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    Ten Years of Promoting Religious Freedom Through U.S. Foreign Policy

    Oct. 27 marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the International Religious Freedom Act, a law that made the promotion of religious freedom a basic aim of U.S. foreign policy. The passage of the legislation marked the culmination of a campaign of unlikely religious allies, who went on to champion other international human rights […]

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    The Plight of Iraq’s Religious Minorities

    The bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom released a report on May 2 that listed 11 “countries of particular concern” – countries whose governments have allowed or participated in violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief. Although the commission did not list Iraq as one of the 11 countries, it said […]

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    Looking for a Way Out: Rethinking the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Few Palestinian families have deeper roots in Jerusalem than Sari Nusseibeh’s. In the 7th century, immediately after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, the caliph Omar the Great entrusted one of Nusseibeh’s ancestors with the key to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. From childhood onward, Nusseibeh, who was educated as a philosopher at Oxford and […]

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    Another Trans-Atlantic Divide? Church-State Relations in Europe and the United States

    Washington, D.C. Europeans and Americans approach the relationship between church and state differently. European churches, for instance, often receive official sanction and substantial financial support from the government. In the United States, on the other hand, the government recognizes no church, and whatever aid it provides is usually indirect and substantially more limited. Even ideas […]

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    God’s Will: Iran’s Polity and the Challenges of the Future

    Key West, Florida Some of the nation’s leading journalists gathered in Key West, Fla., in May 2007 for the Pew Forum’s biannual Faith Angle Conference on religion, politics and public life. Ray Takeyh, a leading expert on Iran and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, shed light on the complex and diffuse […]

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    International Religious Freedom: Religion and International Diplomacy

    Pew Research Center Ten years ago, the U.S. Congress launched a debate on U.S. international religious freedom policy that ultimately resulted in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Foreign policy actors continue to debate how religious freedom – and religion itself – should be factored into U.S. foreign policy. Has the State Department interpreted […]