Senior Researcher and Associate Director for Research, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
12/17/2009 - More than half a century ago, the United Nations affirmed the principle of religious freedom in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, defining it as "the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion." For just as long, journalists and human rights groups have reported on persecution of minority faiths, outbreaks of sectarian violence and other pressures on religious individuals and communities in many countries.
Now, a report from the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life seeks to quantify how governments and forces in society impose limits on religious beliefs and practices around the world. The study, titled Global Restrictions on Religion, covers restrictions on religion in 198 countries and territories that represent more than 99 percent of the world's population. Pew Forum Senior Researcher Brian J. Grim and Associate Director for Research Alan Cooperman discussed the report's major findings, including the conclusion that nearly 70 percent of the world's 6.8 billion people live in countries with high or very high restrictions on religion.
Brian J. Grim, Senior Researcher, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Alan Cooperman, Associate Director for Research, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Luis Lugo, Director, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Read the full transcript Global Restrictions on Religion on the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's Web site.