Religious Persecution again Rises Worldwide; American Christians Fear That They are Glimpsing Their Future

Real persecution, including death and prison for people of faith. Activists hostile to religion are using control of cultural institutions, business, and government bureaucracies to punish believers. Still, what happens elsewhere is different in kind. Every year hundreds or thousands of people are martyred for their faith. The latest Pew Forum report on international religious restrictions details the bad news for 2016. For the second year in a row the number of nations with significant limits on believers rose. Increasing nationalism fueled the worsening attacks. Pew is unique among monitoring organizations in looking at both government restrictions and private actions. The number of nations with significant limits overall rose from 80 to 83, accounting for 42 percent of countries. The increased persecution largely reflected government controls. The percentage of states doing the latter rose from 50 to 55 nations, or 25 percent to 28 percent. Those with significant social hostility rose from 53 to 54, or 27 percent.
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