Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pew’s Shocking Find: The U.S. Has Become More Religiously Intolerant & Socially Hostile

Religion, considering its mass appeal and prevalence, plays a key role in global and domestic events. Considering the fact that sociopolitical issues are often dictated or impacted by personal faith, new findings from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life are potentially concerning, specifically when it comes to faith in America.

The non-partisan research organization found that religious intolerance is on the rise across the globe. But — among the surprising data present within the study — Pew notes that the United States’ standing at both the governmental and societal level has devolved noticeably.

The report’s main emphasis is on governmental restrictions on religious beliefs and practices. Shockingly, the report finds that 75 percent of the world’s population (as of mid-2010) lives in nations “where governments, social groups or individuals restrict people’s ability to freely practice their faith.”

The latest results, which are certainly disconcerting for religious-freedom advocates the world-round, take into account the year ending mid-2009 to mid-2010. A previous report published in 2009 by Pew found that there were 31 countries with high or very high restrictions on faith; in the newest report, this number jumped to 37. While the U.S. government isn’t “high” on the list, it has officially moved from the low to the moderate level of religious restriction.


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