Malala Yousafzai's shooting came at a time when social hostilities involving religion were at a high point, both globally and in Pakistan.
The three countries on the pope’s itinerary -- Uganda, Kenya and the Central African Republic -- all have sizable Catholic populations. But they also have seen violent clashes in recent years.
Among the world’s 25 most populous countries, Burma (Myanmar), Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Russia stand out as having the highest levels restrictions on religion (as of the end of 2013).
Social hostilities involving religion declined in 2013, while government restrictions remained level. But harassment of Jews reached a seven-year high.
Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas. The sharpest increase was in the Middle East and North Africa, a region still feeling the effects of the Arab Spring. And China edged into the “high” category for the first time.
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 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.
Senior Researcher Brian J. Grim talks about the Pew Research Center's restrictions on religion studies at the April 2013 TEDx ViaDellaConciliazione conference at the Vatican.
A new survey report looks at attitudes among Muslims in 39 countries on a wide range of topics, from science to sharia, polygamy to popular culture. The survey finds that overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law to be the official law of their land, but there is also widespread support for democracy and religious freedom.
More than 2.2 billion people -- nearly a third (32%) of the world’s total population of 6.9 billion -- live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially between mid-2006 and mid-2009.