In 2018, the average global level of government restrictions on religion – that is, laws, policies, and actions taken by officials that encroach on religious beliefs and practices – continued to climb, reaching its highest level ever since Pew Research began tracking these. Trends in 2007.
The annual increase from 2017 to 2018 was relatively modest, but it contributed to a significant increase in government restrictions on debt over more than a decade. In 2007, the first year of the study, the global median for the government restrictions index (a 10-point scale based on 20 indicators) was 1.8. After some fluctuations in the early years, the average score has risen steadily since 2011 and is now at 2.9 for 2018, the last full year for which data are available.
The increase in government restrictions reflects a wide range of events around the world, including the rise from 2017 to 2018 in the number of governments that use force – such as arrests and physical attacks – to coerce religious groups.
The overall number of countries with “very high” or “very high” levels of government restrictions is increasing. Recently, this number increased from 52 countries (26% of the 198 countries and territories included in the study) in 2017 to 56 countries (28%) in 2018. Recent numbers are close to the 2012 peak in the two highest levels of the Government Restrictions Index.
As of 2018, most of the 56 countries with high or very high levels of government restrictions on debt are located in the Asia Pacific region (25 countries, or half of all countries in that region) or the Middle East and North Africa (18) countries, Or 90% of all countries in the region).
Of the five regions examined in the study, the Middle East and North Africa continued to have the highest average level of government restrictions in 2018 (6.2 out of 10). However, the Asia-Pacific region saw the largest increase in average scores for government restrictions, rising from 3.8 in 2017 to 4.4 in 2018, in part because more governments in the region use force against religious groups, including Property damage, detention and displacement. Assault and murder.
In all, 31 out of 50 countries (62%) in Asia and the Pacific saw government use of force in relation to religion, up from 26 countries (52%) in 2017. The increase was concentrated in the “low levels” category of government use of force (between incidents One and nine accidents during the year). In 2018, 10 countries from Asia Pacific fall into this category, up from five the previous year. (For a complete list of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, see Appendix C.)
In Armenia, for example, a prominent member of the Baha’i faith has been detained for religious reasons, according to community members. 1 In the Philippines, three missionaries from the United Methodist Church were forced to leave the country or faced visa issues. Renewal after their participation in the investigation of human rights violations in a fact-finding mission.
But the region has also seen several cases of the widespread use of government force against religious groups. In Burma (Myanmar), large-scale displacement of religious minorities continued. During the year, Human Rights Watch reported that more than 14,500 Rohingya Muslims had fled to neighboring Bangladesh to escape the abuse, and at least 4,500 Rohingya were stranded in a border area known as the “Forbidden Land,” where they were (3) in addition In the Kachin and Shan states, fighting between the Burmese army and armed ethnic organizations has displaced other religious minorities, most of them Christians.
Some countries in the Asia-Pacific region had their highest levels of overall government restriction scores. China has been near the top of the list of most restrictive governments each year since the study began, and in 2018 it reached a new peak in its score (9.3 out of 10).
places of worship, and detaining and torturing individuals.6 In 2018, the government continued its arrest campaign against Uyghurs and ethnic groups. Kazakhs and other Muslims in Xinjiang, where they held at least 800,000 (and possibly as many as 2 million) in detention facilities “designed to erase religious and ethnic identities,” according to the US State Department.