According to a newly released Pew Research Center study, religious hostilities around the world have reached an unfortunate six-year high. In fact, every major region of the world, with the exception of North and South America, has experienced increased religious tensions. The report makes a number of significant findings, several of which are explored in this post.
First, government restrictions on religion have increased more in Europe than any other region in the world. This includes official laws, policies and actions interfering with religious belief and practice, such as banning headscarves in schools or at work.
Next, the Pew study finds that particular religious groups -- specifically, Muslims and Jews -- face increased levels of harassment or intimidation. In addition to official restrictions, this encompasses both individual and group acts and may include physical and verbal assaults, arrests, attacks against places of worship and denial of equal opportunity in employment, education and housing.