WASHINGTON (RNS) People who hoped the Arab Spring would lead to greater religious freedom across the Middle East have been sorely disappointed, and a new Pew study confirms that the region has grown even more repressive for various religious groups.

“In 2011, when most of the political uprisings known as the Arab Spring occurred, the Middle East and North Africa experienced pronounced increases in social hostilities involving religion, while government restrictions on religion remained exceptionally high,” according to the report by the Pew Research Center.

The study shows the number of countries in the Middle East or North Africa with sectarian or communal violence between religious groups doubled from five to 10 during 2011, a year that coincided with most of the political uprisings of Arab Spring.

Among those groups most adversely affected were Egypt’s Coptic Christians, whose churches have been bombed and burned both before and after the February 2011 fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Globally, the Pew survey of 198 countries found that the share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religion rose from 37 percent in mid-2010 to 40 percent by the end of 2011.

And because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, more than 5.1 billion people (74 percent of the world’s population) were living in 2011 in countries “with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, the brunt of which often falls on religious minorities,” the study’s authors report.

The report also tracked the proportion of the world’s nations where religious groups suffered persecution:

  • Christians were harassed in the largest share of nations – 105, but down from 111 in the previous year.
  • Muslims were persecuted in 101 countries in 2011, up from 90 countries the year before.
  • Jews were harassed in 69 countries, about the same as the year before (68 countries).

 

5 Comments

  1. above, there are too many lies & distortions to aneswr all of them. However, let’s try to correct a few of them. 1) lies regarding UN resolutions. All General Assembly political resolutions are only recommendations by definition [Arts. 10-12 of the UN charter]. This applies to GA res. 194 which is not law, does not fix “rights,” but merely recommends. Indeed, 194 imposes conditions on Arabs who want to “return.” 2) the lie regarding Geneva IV which does not forbid people from freely moving across an armistice line, not the same as “transfer.”3) the legal status of the Land of Israel as a whole. The San Remo Conference [1920] juridically erected the Jewish National Home in international law. The League of Nations, recognizing the Jewish link to the land, endorsed the JNH principle. The UN charter [Art. 80] confirmed the Jewish right to the Land of Israel. By the way, Arab expert witnesses testifying on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs at the 1946 Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on Palestine denied that there was ever such a place as “palestine” in history. Now, they eagerly use the terms “palestine” and “palestinian people” since that usage is expedient nowadays.4) the SU ignores the Arab & palestinian Arab oppression of Jews in history for more than a thousand years.5) the SU ignores Arab & Palestinian Arab collaboration in the Holocaust, especially in the person of Haj Amin el-Husseini [Husayni]. During the Holocaust, Husseini broadcast to the Arab lands over Radio Berlin. Among other things, he called on Arabs to: Kill Jews wherever you find them [see Lukasz Hirszowicz, The Third Reich & the Arab East]. Arabs also contributed to the Holocaust by pressuring the UK govt to severely limit Jewish immigration to the Jewish National Home when the Jews most needed a home [1939 White Paper]5) In the 1947-1949 Israeli War of Independence, Arabs started to attack Jewish civilians within hours after the UN GA partition recommendation. Jews were driven out of their homes in south Tel Aviv and the Shim`on haTsadiq neighborhood of East Jerusalem in December 1947. On the other hand, Arabs were told to flee their homes by Arabs govts & armies, and by Husseini’s Arab Higher Committee. Bataween is right on that point.6) apartheid in a religious form exists in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Arab states, as mentioned above.7) Since Arabs oppressed, persecuted, humiliated and exploited Jews in the Jewish homeland over the centuries since the Arab conquest [7th century], it would be just for Israel to apply “affirmative action” {corrective discrimination] in favor of Jews.8) the SU falsely insinuates that Israel prevents Muslim worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Churhc of the Holy Sepulcher. But SU does not mention that Jews are prevented from praying on the Temple Mount, a Jewish holy place usurped by Arab/Muslim conquerors.9) there is much real estate in Gaza and the “West Bank” owned by Jews, such as the Kfar Darom land in the Gaza Strip which was populated by Jews before 1948 (cf. Ignaz & Alcuin).10) the references to Tutu, Carter, Dugard & Ben Yair prove nought since these are all bigoted politicians who take “leftist” positions out of politically correct Judeophobia.Really, the LSESU is a disgrace to a country with a respected scholarly tradition.

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