Religion has reasserted itself as an important part of individual and national identity in a region that was once dominated by atheist communist regimes.
Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015 for the first time in three years. Government harassment and use of force surged in Europe, as did social hostilities against Muslims.
More babies were born to Christian mothers than to members of any other religion in recent years. Less than 20 years from now, however, the number of babies born to Muslims is expected to modestly exceed births to Christians.
Jews are more highly educated than any other major religious group around the world, while Muslims and Hindus tend to have the fewest years of formal schooling. But all religious groups are making gains, particularly among women.
Worldwide, both government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion decreased modestly from 2013 to 2014 despite a rise in religion-related terrorism, according to Pew Research Center’s latest annual study on global restrictions on religion.1 Of the 198 countries included in the study, 24% had high or very high levels of government restrictions in […]
Standard lists of history’s most influential religious leaders – among them Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) – tend to be predominantly, if not exclusively, male. Many religious groups, including Roman Catholics and Orthodox Jews, allow only men to be clergy, while others, including some denominations in the evangelical Protestant tradition, have lifted that restriction only in recent decades. Yet it often appears that the ranks of the faithful are dominated by women.
As of 2010, nearly a third of the world's population identified as Christian. But if demographic trends persist, Islam will close the gap by the middle of the 21st century.
Social hostilities toward religion declined in 2013, while government restrictions on religious beliefs and practices remained level. Harassment of Jews, however, reached a seven-year high.
Nearly 40% of the world's Catholics live in Latin America, but many people in the region have converted from Catholicism to Protestantism, while some have left organized religion altogether.
A new report measures religious diversity by the percentage of each country's population in eight categories — Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, the unaffiliated, folk religionists and members of other religions.