Hate-speech laws exist in 89 countries around the world (45%). In some countries, the laws protect only certain religious or social groups, while others have broader laws, covering words or actions that insult, denigrate or intimidate a person or group based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity or other traits.
Here’s a region-by-region look at where religious harassment takes place, and to which groups.
As of 2012, at least 17 nations have police that enforce religious norms. Religion police forces are most common in the Middle East and North Africa, and are also found in the Asia-Pacific and in sub-Saharan Africa.
Highlights from the fifth annual Pew Research Center study of religious hostilities around the world.
Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Pakistan and Burma (Myanmar) stand out as having the most restrictions on religion when both government restrictions and social hostilities are taken into account.
A third of the 198 countries studied had a high or very high level of social hostilities involving religion in 2012. About three-in-ten countries had a high or very high level of government restrictions on religion, roughly the same as in 2011.
Much of the public debate over the so-called “Charter of Values” has focused on the measure’s potential impact on immigrants and their religious beliefs and practices.
The number of people killed in religion-related terrorist attacks in Kenya has dramatically increased in recent years.
Sudan is one of an increasing number of countries whose governments regulate the wearing of religious symbols or attire, such as head coverings for women or facial hair for men.
In 2011, a strong majority of the world’s population lived in countries with high religious restrictions.