Faith needs freedom: The Religious Freedom Report

In the reporting year, ACN published the new edition of the “Religious Freedom in the World Report”, which has been printed every two years since 1999. The report analyses the situation of religious freedom in 196 countries, taking into account all world religions. The ACN report, which is over 900 pages long and published in seven languages, is one of only four reports on the state of religious freedom worldwide. In 2023, the report reached an online readership of over 600 million. 

The 2023 report from ACN states that religious freedom is completely or severely restricted in 61 out of 196 countries. Sixty-two percent of humankind live in countries where people cannot freely practice, display or change their religion. In 47 of these countries, the situation has worsened since the last report, while there are only signs of improvement in nine countries.

Armed terrorist groups or authoritarian governments are usually responsible for the violation of religious freedom. The greatest restrictions on religious freedom are in Africa, where jihadist activities continue to increase, particularly in the Sahel region.

But the situation is also critical in Asia: China, for example, is attempting to extend its totalitarian control to religious life, and in India, ethnic-religious nationalism manifests itself in the form of harsh anti-conversion laws, among other things.

In many Western countries, there are also alarming signs of the spread of what is known as “polite persecution” and an increase in social and political pressure to follow ideological trends.

The actual RFR report: