Faith needs freedom: the Religious Freedom Report

ACN Italy published the first Religious Freedom Report in 1999. The report notes whether religious freedom is upheld in comparison to other world religions and how the situation has developed over the past two years.

The ACN report examines the state of religious freedom in 196 countries, runs to nearly 900 pages, and is published in six languages. It is one of four reports on the state of global religious freedom. The others are published by the American Pew Research Center, the U.S. State Department, and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The ACN report is the only non-governmental report in Europe that takes Catholic social doctrine into account.

In the context of a tense global climate impacted by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fallout of the war in Ukraine, the military and economic concerns around the South China Sea, and the rapid, worldwide increase in the cost of living, religious freedom was violated in countries where more than 4.9 billion people live. We count 61 countries where the citizens faced severe violations of religious freedom.

The Red category, which denotes the existence of persecution, includes 28 countries which are home to 4.03 billion people who altogether make up more than half (51.6 percent) of the world’s population. The Orange category, which denotes the existence of discrimination, includes 33 countries, home to almost 853 million people.

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