While the Kurds are a crucial part of Iraq’s political makeup, they are an ethnic group, not a distinct religious sect within Islam.
The Yazidis who have been fleeing the advance of the Sunni militant group ISIS in Iraq are a religious group of uncertain numbers and a long history of persecution.
Iraq and Iran are two of only a handful of countries that have more Shias than Sunnis.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Jordan, the West Bank and Israel this weekend, a region where the Christian population is in flux and where Francis has expressed concern about their well-being.
The American Israel Public Affairs Council meets in Washington starting Sunday to lobby on issues affecting that country, and it can look to American Christians as a source of support for Israel.
American Jews are skeptical that either Israeli or Palestinian leaders are making a sincere effort to reach a peace settlement.
In Egypt, the government’s restrictions on religion also are coupled with a Muslim public that is considerably less tolerant of religious pluralism than Muslims elsewhere.
Despite hopes that the political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa would lead to greater freedoms for the people of the region, a new study finds that restrictions on religion continued to increase in 2011.
As Iranians prepare to elect a new president on June 14, just 40% of them think religious figures should play a large role in politics.
A new global survey of Muslims shows they are deeply committed to their faith and want its teachings to shape not only their personal lives but also their societies and politics.