By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
U.S. moves into Higher Category for First Time
WASHINGTON D.C. (Worthy News)-- All five major regions of the world, to include the Americas, have experienced an increase in religious hostilities despite increasing governmental restrictions on religion, according to a new Pew Research Center report.
The report reveals that the Middle East-North Africa had the world's highest hostilities involving religion even before the explosion of Islamic protests against U.S. embassies throughout that part of the world.
Restrictions on religion rose not only in nations that began the year with high, or very high restrictions and/or hostilities, but also in many nations that previously had low to moderate restrictions and hostilities, such as the United States, which moved from the low category of governmental restrictions on religion to the moderate category for the very first time.
Contributing factors behind these restrictions were a spike in Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks in the U.S. as well as restrictions that banned explicit references to God in prayer at official functions and/or on display at public facilities; these restrictions reached all the way from the federal to the state and local levels of government.
The Pew Research Center report scored 197 countries and territories representing 99.5 percent of the world's population on two indexes used in previous Pew studies: the Government Restrictions and the Social Hostilities Indices.