Restrictions on religion at high levels worldwide even before lockdowns
Government restrictions on religious practice remained high during the year before the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center.
Pew released findings from its 12th annual study on global religious persecution Thursday, analyzing 198 countries during 2019, the most recent year with data available.
When it came to public policy and laws that infringed on religious practices, 2019 had a similar rate of intolerance to 2018, which was noted as a year with a high rate of government-imposed restrictions.
Pew found that 57 countries had “high” or “very high” restrictions on religious practice, which was slightly higher than 2018’s 56 countries that reported the same and the highest rate since 2012, which also reported 57 countries.
“The analysis shows that government restrictions involving religion, which in 2018 had reached the highest point since the start of the study, remained at a similar level in 2019,” explained Pew.
There has been extensive litigation in the United States aimed at state-level measures that critics claimed unlawfully treated houses of worship worse than comparable non-religious businesses.