By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Worthy News)-- A recent Pew Report examined government restrictions on religious beliefs and practices; it also revealed that social hostilities involving religion have risen in Sweden, Denmark and the U.K.
The report, "Rising Restrictions on Religion" by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life, shows that restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose between mid-2006 and mid-2009 in 23 of the current 198 countries (12%), decreased in 12 countries (6%) and remained essentially unchanged in 163 countries (82%).
However, as several countries are more populous, the increases on religious restrictions affected a much larger share of the population; more than 2.2 billion people - nearly a third (32%) of the world's total population of 6.9 billion - live in countries where either government restrictions on religion or social hostilities involving religion rose substantially over the three-year period studied
While Europe had the largest proportion of countries where social hostilities related to religion were on the rise, the study also found that social hostilities involving religion were rising in Asia, notably in China, Thailand and Vietnam.
For the full report and an explanation of its methodology, go to pewforum.org