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August 9th, 2011
02:09 PM ET

Report: Religious freedom declining for nearly 2.2 billion people

By Moni Basu, CNN

Nearly a third of the world's people live in nations where practicing religion freely is becoming increasingly difficult, according to a new study released Tuesday.

The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life said government restrictions and religiously motivated hostility rose significantly between mid-2006 and mid-2009, when the research was conducted.

Only 1% of the world's population lives in countries where the trend was the opposite.

"The increasing levels of social hostilities is a definite trend that needs to be watched carefully," said Brian Grim, the primary researcher for the study.

Grim said the Pew Center's report on 198 countries found those that were already restrictive or abusive in the previous report continued their decline. Those that were tolerant became more so. The study found that 101 governments used force against religious groups or individuals.

He said Christians and Muslims, who make up more than half of the world's population, were harassed in the most number of countries, though that did not reflect the intensity of the persecution.

The Middle East and North Africa had the largest proportion of nations where curbs on religion went up, the study found. Nearly a third of those nations imposed greater restrictions. It was particularly bad in Egypt, the study said.

The research was done before the so-called Arab Spring. Many of the nations with increasing religious restrictions have seen popular uprisings and subsequent crackdowns - among them Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya.

Grim said Pew will be conducting another study to reflect the effects of recent events.

It was noteworthy, he said, that Muslims faced the highest persecution in Islam-dominated Middle East and North Africa. Much of it was because of a majority branch persecuting a minority branch. Or in the case of Egypt, it was the government targeting the Muslim Brotherhood, Grim said.

Among the world's top 25 populous nations, which account for 75% of the global population, curbs on religion went up in eight countries and did not go down in any. In China, Nigeria, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, the increases were primarily due to rising social hostilities. In Egypt and France, the increases were mainly because of government restrictions.

The United States enjoys high levels of religious freedom, Grim said, but 1,300 religiously motivated hate crimes were reported to the FBI during the period of the study.

The Pew Center report was compiled from a variety of sources, including the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and Human Rights Watch. The private Washington-based center does not take positions on any of the issues it covers or on policy debates.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Religious liberty

soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Religionist

    @ Atheist

    "That way we can stop having wars.... about religion..."

    If it's still existing...OR, if this....

    "and instead do it over land... and ethnicity."

    is not happening in your time yet, All you have to do is to get your lazy butt back here in the present.

    August 10, 2011 at 4:22 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  2. myklds

    @ CW

    Atheists are storming you like bees. It only proves how sweet Christianity is.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:24 am |
    • Martin T

      Umm, not sure what you mean by this statement. However, you do realize that atheism is the fastest growing segment of "religion" in the world. Thankfully, we have science and reason to show us the answers, and the need for a god is shrinking among the educated. It won't happen in my lifetime, but one day, all religions will be lost to time and only the fringe will hang on to the dogma. The world will not be safe until all religion is erraticated from the Earth.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:24 am |
    • Religionist

      Martin..are you stating atheism as form of religion?

      August 10, 2011 at 5:38 am |
    • Free

      Religionist
      Religion is grounded in superst.ition and a belief in the supernatural. I think Martin is espousing a movement away from these and towards rationality and logic.

      August 10, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Fee

      @ free.

      Was that your view on Matin's statement saying: "that atheism is the fastest growing segment of "religion" in the world."?

      August 12, 2011 at 4:04 am |
    • evolvedDNA

      Mykids.. you do nt mean that do you,, what you really mean is that as there are no answers so just keep smiling.. and may be we will all go away...

      August 14, 2011 at 5:01 am |
  3. Faith

    The secular hedonists are persecuting the religious in the West( Europe and America). The world peace/ self-improvement is a lie.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:03 am |
    • Peace2All

      @Faith

      Again with the crazy-talk !

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 2:05 am |
    • Faith

      Wrong peace has a lot of silent victims inside and it is not peace but evil. Mankind needs justice, not just peace.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:13 am |
    • Faith

      @Peace2All, The phrase "peace on earth" has a condition. Read Luke chaper 2.
      Villains' peace = rampant evil

      August 10, 2011 at 3:15 am |
  4. muhammed darwin ?

    Islam (sharia) will fight Christian(democracy) and then Atheist(communist) will get behind. I say Sharia and Democracy join fight communist and then fight each other. Or democracy join communist fight sharia. As i know, the sharia will not live in peace until the world (infidels) are dead or convert to Islam. But as i know, Christian and Atheist will live in peace even the world are not dominate by them. The real threat is sharia. sharia will not tolerate just like their peoples not tolerate in comments posted.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Muneef

      Turned out to look as a Hindi film...!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:20 am |
    • Frogist

      LOL@Muneef: So long as there's lots of dancing and saris in the rain!

      August 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  5. wondering

    @ Peace2All Yes, in some of the material I read: there are some religious groups that would be thrilled to have laws passed to close down as many bussines on Sunday as possiable so (they hope) more people woluld go to church. It's even been the newspapers and other media (rather old [long time ago, in the 90's] news) that the Papacy would like laws to insist that people go to church. I'm totaly against this.

    August 9, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Peace2All

      That's good to know.

      FYI- In the future you may want to learn how to use the 'reply' button so your postings can remain in the conversational thread where they belong.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Martin T

      I grew up in the South, and there were blue laws there all my life. It was a lot worse back in the 60's and 70's when I was a kid.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:14 am |
  6. wondering

    @ Peace2All Chrstian ethics are interity and fairness and hard work. and far as politcians are concerned: live up to the oath of their office. I don't see too much of this–do you?

    August 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Peace2All

      Integrity, fairness, and hard work are not qualities that are 'trademarked' by Christianity.

      As for the politicians, yeah... you don't always find these qualities.

      FYI- Again, please learn how to use the 'reply' button so we and others can keep the conversational threads with you in the right place.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  7. Muneef

    Those spoken of are political religious parties but not as to religion as practis of worship at Mosques or Churches ....!!
    Only in Tunisia I heard they have taken it too far as have those worshipers to obtain permit before can they be allowed to pray at any Mosque...but no longer now after the revolution....now it is the Syrian authorities after the riot problems have forced a law that only those above 50 years old are allowed to go to Mosques for worship prayers...
    Maybe there are more Religious Freedoms Decline in the Ex Soviet states than it is in the Arabic countries...

    August 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
  8. Free

    CW
    So, what you desire is that everyone have freedom of religion as long as it's your religion they follow?!? Isn't that like holding 'free elections' in a one party state?

    August 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      You are free under god's law.
      .
      First CW came for the liberals,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a liberal.
      .
      Then CW came for the pagans,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a pagan.

      Then CW came for the Atheists,
      and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Atheist.
      .
      Then CW came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
  9. wondering

    As a Christian I believe that the government should not control religion, nor should religion control government. But, I believe that I am beging to see shadows of the Papacy and far right Christian denominations pushing to control the government issues. I believe the government should govern by Christian ethics, but Christian denominations, or any other religious body, shuold not try to control the government. And it seems from this forum that some atheist would like to have control of the government. This will only lead to desention of the people.

    August 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @wondering

      Hello -wondering...

      You Said: " As a Christian I believe that the government should not control religion, nor should religion control government. "

      Personally, I am for Religion and Government to be 'separated' as far as humanly, conceptionally, and legally as possible.

      When, 'religion' begins to infringe on the laws of the land, and on the civil rights of others... then Government certainly does need to step in and remedy the situation. And, yes I understand that it should go both ways.

      You Said: " But, I believe that I am beging to see shadows of the Papacy and far right Christian denominations pushing to control the government issues. "

      Ya' think ?!?!?!?

      You Said: " I believe the government should govern by Christian ethics "

      And what exactly would these Christian ethics be...? As some, again, would infringe upon the civil rights of others.

      And, for the record, 'not killing' 'not harming' etc... etc... have been around long before the rise of Christianity.

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • MLB1980

      Just to remind everyone that wall street with the help from the federal reserve and the media(aka the 4th branch ) run America. Also these people are rich and could't care about god or the millions of people our politicians trick into voting for them. Many people believe in god and the people who run for the Senate or House of Representatives or any other position of power use religion as a way of getting into office. They make people believe they'll do whats best for America, while passing laws that benefit the wealthy or "Job Creators" as they're known by the media.. While there are too many faults in this current system of government to list,I think religion has become a tool for corrupt people to get elected.For far to long they have looked out for the top 10% while sticking it to the lower 90. People shouldn't elect others based on their religious values, because your incapable of knowing what they truly believe in their heart. If all the people who speak of God when running for office, did what Jesus would do or the compassionate thing , America would be a better place to live.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • myklds

      @Peace..you said and I quote, "And, for the record, 'not killing' 'not harming' etc... etc... have been around long before the rise of Christianity."

      Perhaps, but not before religion.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:53 am |
    • Frogist

      @mykids: I think that might be a claim you would definitely have to prove.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  10. J.W

    Im tired of atheists holding us Christians down. Why do atheists have to suppress the rights of Christians to suppress the rights of atheists? It surely doesnt tell them to do that in the Bible.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Please explain how atheists are holding down christians or anyone else? Assuming for moment that your sky daddy exists (and he does not), why isn't he powerful enough to counter a few atheists?

      August 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W.

      Sorry bro... I really don't understand your posting at all...?

      Would you please elaborate a bit.

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • I_get _it

      J.W

      Funny one! 🙂

      August 9, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Brilliant!

      August 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • J.W

      Im glad a couple people understood my joke lol

      August 9, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W.

      Sorry dude... missed it.

      Peace...

      August 10, 2011 at 1:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      J.W., if there were more christians like you, the world would be a much nicer place.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:12 am |
  11. Frogist

    This whole report seems disturbing to me. More religious intolerance always means more hatred and violence.
    I didn't find the breakdown of religiously motivated hate crimes by religion on the Pew site. I have limited access right now. But a previous FBI report from 2009 says that the majority of hate crimes were anti-jewish, followed in a distant second by anti-muslim ones.

    August 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Frogist, you wrote, 'But a previous FBI report from 2009 says that the majority of hate crimes were anti-jewish, followed in a distant second by anti-muslim ones.'

      Who, frogist are these 'hate crimes' perpetraitors? anti-jewish and anti-muslim? I am confused,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      August 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Lionly Lamb...

      " Who, frogist are these 'hate crimes' perpetraitors? anti-jewish and anti-muslim? I am confused. "

      Apparently they were bigots that took issue with the Jews and Muslims on some level.

      Maybe the FBI report that Frogist is referencing here, will give you the 'who' exactly that you are looking for.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lionly: Actually the site I read that from does not specify who the perpetrators were. I would be curious if there was a trend regarding that as well. This isn't the FBI site but another site reporting about the FBI report:
      http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2010/11/22/new-fbi-hate-crime-data-significant-drop-but-problem-persists-in-the-united-states/
      If you do find out if there is a trend I'd love to know.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Frogist,

      I went to that site and all I could read from the 1st page which I find of value is, "“Hate crime is a global problem. The U.S., with its long history of addressing hate crime and many good practices to share, should lead global efforts to respond to this serious human rights concern,” concluded LeGendre. “In order to do that effectively, it is vital to continue to make progress on curtailing hate crime at home.”. I don't think anyone wants to bring a light to otherly name-labelling genres to quite possibly give such issues a 'greater influence' if you can understand,,,,,,,,,,, 🙂

      August 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Free I write, One who does make peaceful protests does not make them a "bully" and true 'Phelp's' flock is but a small sect, not really worthy of bringing to Light.

      --------–
      Your schizo zombie jesus started with but a few men. Look at the hate they bred in the world through our history.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  12. pmk1953

    I'm all for freedom OF religion AND freedom FROM religion. I have my beliefs and you have yours. I don't want YOU telling ME who or what to believe in. I definitely won't tell you what or who to believe in. Too many people seem to think that it's their job to either convert everyone else or belittle them for not believing as they do. I for one am sick of it.

    August 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      And you are seeing more and more resist and stand up to the evangelical bullies.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      On Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm, Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics wrote, "And you are seeing more and more resist and stand up to the evangelical bullies."

      Here in the U.S.A. we have no "evangelical bullies". Our pulpit loving evangelicals, be they home-churched or be they Tv Schooled, they only attempt to 'practice' that which they preach and give others/followers some sense of humbling semblance to ease the minds of those who see the ways of the world with fear. I do ask you A.C.T.S. to quit your disdaining writing of acts unbecoming your abilities! 🙂

      August 9, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
    • Free

      The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar
      The U.S.A. we have no "evangelical bullies"?

      Two words: Fred Phelps

      August 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      On Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm, Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics wrote, "And you are seeing more and more resist and stand up to the evangelical bullies."

      Here in the U.S.A. we have no "evangelical bullies". Our pulpit loving evangelicals, be they home-churched or be they Tv Schooled, they only attempt to 'practice' that which they preach and give others/followers some sense of humbling semblance to ease the minds of those who see the ways of the world with fear. I do ask you A.C.T.S. to quit your disdaining writing of acts unbecoming your abilities!
      -----
      If only the ones in politics lived like this.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      @ Free I write, One who does make peaceful protests does not make them a "bully" and true 'Phelp's' flock is but a small sect, not really worthy of bringing to Light. 🙂

      August 10, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      On Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm, 'Amistavia' wrote me stating, "Lionly- You do understand that you're not quite right in the head, don't you?"

      You oh kind and generous Amistavia do with salutations of good cheer; does wholely enlighten my Spiritual welfare and soundness of mind! I just can't wait to here more of your Words of enlightenment be they what may!

      August 10, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Free

      The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar
      So, do I take it that you find nothing disturbing about the actions of Phelps' group? To me, his sect demonstrates the principle that some Christian groups place very little regard for causing others pain as long as they believe they are serving God, and since God isn't around to actually stamp his approval upon such messages, like the politicians do commercials made to support them, there really is no guarantee of any minister actually speaking on God's true behalf, right?

      Don't you see this as rather dangerous? All large sects began as small ones, so what's to say that some mega-church leader won't wake up some morning and see 'signs' that God wants him to lead his flock in some violent attack against the local Mosque, or Catholic Church, or even Federal Government complex?

      August 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  13. Amistavia

    The real problem is religion and the lobotomized who believe in it. Evolve!

    August 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      On Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm, Amistavia wrote, "The real problem is religion and the lobotomized who believe in it. Evolve!"

      The 'real problem' Amistavia is much more complex than the religiously 'lobotomized'. It seems to me to be the many generations of young and upcoming devotees of religious war mongering deviants who delegate to their herds of the peasantries their carefully choriographed sonnets/speeches to rally their flocks to commit Acts of atrosciousness, laying waste to their neighborhoods. Here in the U.S.A. we have had our small share of such Acts. Small in comparison when put in light of otherly Nations, Countries etc etc.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • Amistavia

      Lionly- You do understand that you're not quite right in the head, don't you?

      August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  14. Reality

    Again, the larger issues are the flaws in all religions.

    For example, quoting single passages from the hallucination and myth-based koran has no meaning with respect to the major flaws and errors of Islam. Once again since you still have problems coming to grips with these errors:

    1. Belief in angels aka "tinker-bells" or fa-iries.

    2. Belief that an hallucinating, illiterate Arab did actually talk to the "pretty Gabriel" in the hot "Gabe" cave and therein received the warmongering and anti-female words and resultant laws now listed in the koran.

    3. That Sunnis are superior to Shiites in all aspects of life. And Shiites think the same way about Sunnis.

    4. That Islam is perfect and the koran inherently condones no sin even though the 24/7, 1300 year-old blood feud between Sunnis and Shiites gives significant credence that greed, hate, suicides, assassinations, maiming, and murder are condoned by the koran. Having multiple wives also gives significant credence to the sins of ra-pe, ad-ultery, lu-st and poly-gamy. The co-ndoned treatment of these wives gives credence that the koran allows the sins of hatred, anger and greed.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      To Reality,

      I Reality, can understand 2 and 3 and 4 in the "war" But 1. "Belief in angels aka "tinker-bells" or fa-iries."? How does one believing in such things as 'angels aka tinkerlls or fa-iries' create and/or establish the means or mechanisms to riot or make war? Surely many political agendaships used the religiously immoral ingrates to make wars upon others. Hitler did noy spew His religious beliefs upon His populace but rather his Mein Kampf Book did brainwash his soldiers into believing Hitler's Word was worthy of fighting toward world domination for they were self-deemed as being a dominating Race by their own Disillusionments. Charles Darwin's 1859 book On the Origin of Species, was held in high regards by Hitler even though Mr Darwin was a religious person, Hitler may well thought himself a God. Who really knows what goes on in the minds any Political Prophet?

      August 9, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Reality

      How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

      Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror.

      One trillion dollars over the next several years for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting koranic-driven nut-cases.

      Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

      Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Who needs your money it is you who are scattering it on your idols and tyrants after having to spoil countries from their self dependance into becoming your beggars ...

      August 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Reality

      Poor, poor Muneef as he is still trapped in the terror and horror box of Islam??

      August 9, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  15. Reality

    Until the Koran's passages that call for world domination, female oppression and death to all apostates and infidels are deleted, Iran and other Muslim theocracies will continue to be a significant roadblock to world peace no matter who is in charge.

    Hopefully, someday soon, the acting-director of the Muslim World Initiative at the United States Insti-tute of Peace will make this demand of the Muslim world.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Dreaming or is it a Nightmare....!? No one would be allowed to change or delete a single Arabic word of the Quran...not even the highest Islamic authority on earth can do that not even the King Of KSA the Servent of Both Holy Mosques can do that...you are crazy...the whole world will turn upside down before that can be achieved publicly....!!

      August 9, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • Reality

      Poor Muneef, he is still stuck in the time of angels, tinker-bells and fair-ies considering his religious beliefs rely entirely on these mythical creatures.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Sam

      Have you even picked up the Quran and read it? Or do you base your beliefs on points that have zero facts to back it up?

      August 10, 2011 at 1:58 am |
    • Reality

      Saving Muslims is quite easy!!!

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:
      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

      August 10, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  16. gupsphoo

    The real problem is the divisive nature of religions.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Free

      Christians like CW might argue that religion would lose it's divisive quality once everyone accepts Christ. What history teaches us, however, is that when only Christians are around in a population, and no other 'enemy' can be relied upon to focus their hostilities, they will find enemies amongst themselves and label them 'heretics', or 'witches'.

      Now, Christianity isn't inherently elitist, but the alpha-type personalities that seem to gravitate to any organization's leadership seems to have a far easier time victimizing the meek members of the group, and Christianity seems to make this more easy due to the tradition of unquestioning subservience to authority.

      August 9, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  17. Lycidas

    "He said Christians and Muslims, who make up more than half of the world's population, were harassed in the most number of countries, though that did not reflect the intensity of the persecution."

    All that was said about Christianity...yet watch the vast amount of comments on here be about Christianity.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Lycidas

      Hello my friend, hope that you are doing well.

      From the Article:

      " It was noteworthy, he said, that Muslims faced the highest persecution in Islam-dominated Middle East and North Africa. Much of it was because of a majority branch persecuting a minority branch. "

      I'm curious as to your thoughts on this. And, do you think that there is some of this going on i.e... in fighting between the different denominations of Christianity, as far as severity of this nature, yet...?

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • J.W

      I dont know if persecution from denomination to denomination is prevalent in the US. Obviously in other countries there is fighting between Catholics and protestants and among other groups. I think there are major disagreements between denominations and even sub-denominations, and I think it can boil down to how literal people take the Bible.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I agree with JW. From what I can see, most of the "infighting" among Christians usually reside between Catholics and Protestants. I am sure there are a few Copts and Eastern Orthodox groups that still get into it, just not on the scale of the others.

      Personally I think most such clashes, whether Muslim, Christian or any religious group, have more to do with cultural problems than strictly religious ones. It's always easier to get ppl behind the call of God than the call to a peticular economic philosophy or such.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @J.W. & @Lycidas

      Thanks for your opinions !

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      YW Peace....oh, I will point out a place with a lot of Christian infighting. The Church of the Holy Sepluchre. Look up info on the immovable ladder or how that building is laid out among the different groups.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Lycidas

      Yes, I'm familiar with the 'church of the holy sepulchre.' I don't even have to look it up, I can just imagine the in-fighting going on between the denominations there.

      I had thought that most scholars had pretty much dismissed that sight as authentic anyway...?

      Apparently not, I guess. Otherwise they wouldn't be fighting over it.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      "He said Christians and Muslims, who make up more than half of the world's population, were harassed in the most number of countries, though that did not reflect the intensity of the persecution."

      All that was said about Christianity...yet watch the vast amount of comments on here be about Christianity.

      ------–
      I think we should be equally critical of people who worship mythical sky gods, magic sky wizards, supernatural genies, jesus cross superstar & magical child molester muhammad

      August 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lycidas: I would expect the vast majority of comments to be about Christianity. Most of us are from the US and Christianity is the most prevalent religion here. I don't understand why anyone would expect different.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Artist- I think we should be equally critical of people who follow reason as if it were thought, believe in the new priesthood called scientists and those that think there can be answers to all things thanks to science.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  18. Lycidas

    Not really that surprising. Whenever hard times hit a ppl or nation, they tend to close in on waht they already know. Religion tends to be a stabilizer for many nations and culture. It stands to reason those in power would want to control the largest organized religion and use it as a weapon to stabalize a region or ppl.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Funny

      "largest organized religion and use it as a weapon to stabalize a region or ppl."

      Try telling that to christians as to why the bible was created in the first place and they'll disagree with you.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Lycidas

      The creation of the Bible has little to do with controlling the masses on a national scale. The OT was canonized by a group of Jewish scholars when they had little in way of any political power. The NT was pretty much co.mplete way before the Roman Empire grabbed hold of Christianity.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lycidas: I can't think of a more horrible purpose for religion than using it as a bludgeon to quiet dissent of an oppressed minority for the sake of stability. But couldn't it also be a religious ent!ty using it's consolidating authority over the people to rise up and steal power. Then it can convert or "dissuade" other religions from taking hold. Both are equally dangerous possibilities.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Frogist- Very true. The corruption of power knows no bounds. But most faiths I know never start out with the concept of putting a group under their heel. That usually comesfrom those that want to use religion for that result like the Crusaders.

      August 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  19. The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

    This World seem to me to be entering into an 'Age of Para-Pseudo-Enlightenment', clouded by riotous ambivalences where young Religious Folk need to be reined in upon if they are destroying other’s properties, government buildings and even others Livelihoods. It comes as no surprise to me that a growing revulsion of the religiously' war-bonded; Toward others who rule them without giving them the Liberties and Rights as they see being given in otherly Countries, Nations and States etc. and as is especially seen by others seeing the United States of the Americas so lavishly Styled abutments of people who live in liberty’s Freedom’ Wells.

    The irony of U.S.A.’s religious and governmental Stands does have tendencies to promote Acts of Violent aggressions against otherly Nations' governmental run policies and agendas unbecoming the peaceful lovers of such a Nation or State or Country etc. The Ruthless Eminencies of ’iron clad’ Rulers of Dictatorships and Despotisms need to be overthrown by its’ people but at what a price in such places of discontentment? What are the responses to this Worldview of religious aggressions especially from the ‘Globalists‘ Perspectives?

    August 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  20. CW

    We are truly blessed to be able to say that we are christians. Now if we could help others experience the one true God and help the millions accept Christ as their savior.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      And there is nothing wrong with that....just don't use the government for your agenda.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Atheist

      I think there's a lot wrong with that.... The majority uses the government for their agenda everytime and the more christianity spreads, the more likely they are to attempt to make their god the "one true God" which will just lead to more government interferance.

      I think there should be freedom of religion, just because when you try and stifle it, it just becomes stronger. But in the end, I think it would be better for everyone if all religion dissapeared. That way we can stop having wars.... about religion... and instead do it over land... and ethnicity... and... well pretty much anything that makes one group different from another.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @CW

      One of the main benefits of being here in the U.S. with said religious freedoms is for someone like you to proclaim yourself as a christian... and... giving others the right to proclaim themselves whatever religion that deem to fit their particular world-view.

      Your point of basically...'getting others to realize that whatever brand of religion they are using-other than christianity- is wrong, so let's get them to realize THE RIGHT one which is christianity, is inherently myopic.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      August 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Valerie

      You're not grasping freedom of religion, are you? I don't want to be Christian, especially through force. Thanks though.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • i wonder

      CW, ... and "God" and "Jesus" aren't able to spread their word without you?! An omniscient, omnipotent supernatural being needs your help or the message would never get out?

      August 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • The Lionly Lamb of The Gods Does Roar

      Oh poorly developed CW of Christendom's bereavements. How shallow are your thoughts, and yet they become you! It would be a pleasurable thing to see this world united by a One God Religious Environment, Ogre for short, but such is Not the True Will of GOD! Oh ‘CW‘, Our world is in dire needs of the saltiness of that which is Life being lived outside the ranges of religious convictionisms that tend to weigh one down and become likened to a beast of burden with a heavy load of goods being carried across the mountaintops. We are in more needs than the ‘bread’ of Life Being Jesus’ Word can so give us in this world which the Lord Christ Jesus tells us who read the Gospels knows full well that “This world is not of Christ’s Kingdom”. Sorry CW, but I try so very hard to not burst anyone’s bubbles of Hope without breathing in the air that escapes from such bubbles. May CW your dreams of a One World Religion be so when you meet the Lord, your Christ Jesus in your next Life in but one of the many so many heavens of this worlds Heaven! 🙂

      August 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Stevie7

      " One God Religious Environment, Ogre for short"

      AHAHA A one god religious environment would definitely resemble an ogre – ugly and mean.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Granted we know CW's agenda and view on our government an dhe sky god. I was just pointing out to CW nothing wrong with your group spreading their mythical beliefs...just don't use our government as a weapon or tool to do it.

      August 9, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @CW,
      "...help others experience the one true God and help the millions accept Christ as their savior."
      I really wonder, do you see how close this is to forcing others to follow certain beliefs? I 'm sure the Inquisitions were seen as helping people not to stray from the one true God, at least by some.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
    • evolvedDNA

      CW do you now understand why there could never be peace with gods in the world? there are religions that have the same views you hold... society has to take a stand....pay for your addiction perhaps by taxing religious buildings would be a start.

      August 10, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • myklds

      @ CW

      Atheists are storming you here like bees. It only proves how sweet Christianity is.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:36 am |
    • UnevolvedDNA

      "taxing religious buildings would be a start."

      I couldn't help but wonder if atheists would agree of such phrase above, w/c is quoted from EvolvedDNA.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:48 am |
    • Velmar

      @ Valerie

      Tell me what religion Christian Denomination that is forcing you to be one of them. Are they pointing an automatic pistol at your cranium or sharp two-pointed blade on your throat? Tell me and I have them incarcerated ASAP!

      August 10, 2011 at 4:03 am |
    • Religionist

      "That way we can stop having wars.... about religion..."

      If it's still existing...OR, if this....

      "and instead do it over land... and ethnicity."

      is not happening in your time yet, All you have to do is to get your lazy butt back here in the present.

      August 10, 2011 at 4:24 am |
    • Free

      myklds
      "Atheists are storming you here like bees. It only proves how sweet Christianity is."
      By that logic anything that atheists oppose must automatically be 'true' or 'good', but you do realize that we also criticize New Age, Satanism, and the other mainstream word religions that Christianity is rivals with, right?

      August 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.