Infographic: Religious persecution around the world

In one third of countries, the problem is getting worse


The New Missionaries is a joint project between Maclean’s and OpenCanada.org, the Canadian International Council’s (CIC) hub for international affairs. Click here to learn more about the CIC.

Brian Grim is the senior research fellow in religion and world affairs at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Graphic design by Cameron Tulk.

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Infographic: Religious persecution around the world

  1. I want to commend Macleans for presenting the facts so clearly.

    In fact I want to commend Macleans for (a) putting this whole debate concerning religious freedom and whether/how we should defend it up on the site, and (b) taking care to do so evenhandedly, with points of view from all round.

    If you’re going to run a national news magazine, a vehicle for the dissemination of the great discussions which roil our nation, this is the way to do it.  I wish other issues of import (e.g. abortion, gay marriage, etc.) were handled in this same manner.

  2. As president of Secular Connexion Séculaire I know there should be a statistic on your list for non-believers. However, even countries like Canada persist in ignoring the existence and the rights of atheists. 

    There are approximately 6,000,000 atheists in Canada and yet our government and media persist in ignoring our presence in legislation, our national anthem, and in the creation of such religion biased organizatios as the Office of Religious Freedom. Atheists are being persecuted and even executed in the very same countries from which you obtained your lists of religious persecutions. The problems for atheists are bad enough in Canada, but  pale in comparison to those faced by non-believers in other countries. It’s time for the media to wake up and smell our coffee for a change.Doug ThomasPresident, SCSpresident@ secularconnexion.casecularconnexion.ca

  3. This tells you nothing. What are the state restrictions?  

  4. I wonder what is the basis for the USA getting a “moderate” rating?  Considering the wide variety of religions being practiced in the USA and the absence of segregation, as well as the constitutional right to freedom of religion, it makes me wonder.  As far as I can tell, there is little to no persecution going on.

    I’m also very curious about Mexico’s “very high” rating.

    Also, Australia gets a “moderate” rating, which is also surprising to me.

    I guess I might have to look up the source.

    • If someone merely mentions anything Christian to some random stranger – not even preaching, would they get a nod and an “interesting” comment? Or would they get “don’t shove your beliefs down my throat?” I’d say moderate is accurate.

  5. Looks like Cameron Tulk forgot North Korea.

  6. Excellent info, helps me heaps in my assignment

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