Study: Religious Hostilities Increased Post Boston Marathon Bombing

Religious Hostilities

As the trial began earlier this month for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Pew Research Center published a study showing how the incident had led to a rise in religious hostilities in the United States from 2012 to 2013. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Hate Crime Statistics too showed a rise in the number of religious hate crimes that were incited by anti-Islamic bias, from 11.6 percent to 13.7 percent during the same period.

The study by Pew Research Center measured religious restrictions and hostilities across 198 countries but left out North Korea from its database. Researchers assessed 20 different kinds of government restrictions and 13 different types of social hostilities in each of the 198 countries, using the information to rate each from 0 to 10 in those categories.

Among the world’s top 25 most populous countries, China imposed the maximum amount of religious restriction while India had the highest level of social hostilities. In the same group, government restrictions on religious practices increased slightly while social hostilities concerning the same reduced. The number of countries with high government restrictions increased by two percent from 27 percent to 29 percent and the number of countries with social hostilities decreased by six percent from 33 percent to 27 percent. Among the largest countries, the United Kingdom was the only one to reflect a drop in government restrictions on religious practices.

Researchers also studied members of religious groups across the world. According to their findings, those who practice Islam and Christianity, two of the largest religions in the world, were harassed in more countries, with Muslims reporting such treatment in 99 countries and Christians reporting the same in 102 countries. Similarly, harassment against Jews took place in 77 countries. The report said that Jews were harassed mostly by individuals and groups in society instead of governments.

The data for the study was compiled from reports that have been published by the United Nations, the American government, the European Union as well as non-governmental organizations that deal with human rights issues.

Photo Credits: The New York Post

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