The Global Religious Futures (GRF) project is jointly funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and The John Templeton Foundation. Here are some big-picture findings from the GRF, together with context from other Pew Research Center studies.
Only one-in-ten Chinese adults formally identify with a religion, but surveys indicate that religion plays a much bigger role in China when the definition is widened to include questions on spirituality, customs and traditional beliefs.
Nearly a quarter of countries used force to prevent religious gatherings during the pandemic; other government restrictions and social hostilities related to religion remained fairly stable.
For more than a decade, Pew Research Center has been tracking global patterns in restrictions on religion – both those imposed by governments and hostilities committed by individuals and social groups.
India’s artificially wide ratio of baby boys to baby girls – which arose in the 1970s from the use of prenatal diagnostic technology to facilitate sex-selective abortions – now appears to be narrowing. Son bias has declined sharply among Sikhs, while Christians continue to have a natural balance of sons and daughters.
Indians accept women as political leaders, but many favor traditional gender roles in family life.
Globally, Social Hostilities Related to Religion Decline in 2019, While Government Restrictions Remain at Highest Levels
Social hostilities involving religion, including violence and harassment against religious groups by private individuals and groups, declined in 2019, according to Pew Research Center’s 12th annual study of global restrictions on religion, which examines 198 countries and territories.
All major religious groups in India have shown sharp declines in their fertility rates, limiting change in the country’s religious composition since 1951. Meanwhile, fertility differences between India’s religious groups are generally much smaller than they used to be.
Among churches that posted their sermons, homilies or worship services online between Aug. 31 and Nov. 8, 2020, two-thirds posted at least one message from the pulpit mentioning the election. But discussion varied considerably among the four major Christian groups included in this analysis.
Indians see religious tolerance as a central part of who they are as a nation. Across the major religious groups, most people say it is very important to respect all religions to be “truly Indian.”
In 2018, the global median level of government restrictions on religion – that is, laws, policies and actions by officials that impinge on religious beliefs and practices – continued to climb, reaching an all-time high since Pew Research Center began tracking these trends in 2007.