11 Facts About Religious Discrimination

  1. Religious discrimination is unequal treatment of an individual or group based on their beliefs.
  2. Religion-related issues in the workplace more than doubled between 1999 and 2010.
  3. While Americans are protected under the First Amendment to practice religion freely, hundreds of countries are not protected by their government, rather harassed by them for their beliefs.
  4. In a 4-year study of religious discrimination around the world (2006-2010), Christians were the most-discriminated against group, experiencing harassment by the government and society in 168 countries.
  5. Muslims make up the second largest religious population in the world and were discriminated against in 121 countries worldwide between 2006 and 2010.
  6. North and South America, Australia, and the majority of Africa have low to moderate government restriction on religion, compared to Europe and Asia which are regions of very high restriction.
  7. Taking into account both governmental and societal religious hostilities in the top 25 most populated countries in the world, the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Italy, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have the least.
  8. Jews make up less than 1 percent of the population, yet experience discrimination in 85 countries — the third most of any religious group.
  9. On average, countries that have government restrictions on religion have higher rates of social hostility. Social hostilities of religious discrimination include armed conflict, harassment of women over dress code, mob violence, hate crimes, violence or violent threats, terrorist violence, and more.
  10. Government hostilities can include favoritism of a religious group, limits on religious conversion, preaching, or foreign missionaries, attempts to eliminate a group, prohibition of worship or practice of certain beliefs, violence towards a minority group, and more.  
  11. Nearly 50 percent of countries increased their religious discrimination between 2009 and 2010, and only 32 percent saw decreases.

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Sources: BJC Online, Pew Forum