It won’t be easy to shore up religious freedom

By the Catholic Herald

In the decade from 2007 to 2017, religious freedom declined around the world. That is the conclusion of a major new study by the Pew Research Center published last week.

Pew found that 52 governments were imposing “high” or “very high” constraints on religion in 2017, up from 40 in 2007. They included such populous countries as China, Indonesia and Russia. Fifty-six countries had high levels of “social hostilities” related to religion in 2017, an increase from 39 in 2007.

These figures are depressing because they mean that millions more people worldwide are facing restrictions or outright violence simply because of their religion.