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Spike in religious restrictions in U.S. and world, Pew Center finds
Alleged Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan was recently forced to shave his beard to appear in a military court.
September 20th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Spike in religious restrictions in U.S. and world, Pew Center finds

By Ashley Fantz, CNN

(CNN) - Restrictions on religion spiked throughout the world between mid-2009 and 2010, including in the United States, says a new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The U.S. was among 16 countries, including Switzerland, where hostilities jumped during that time period. Pew examined 197 countries, assigning a score between from zero to 10.

Zero represents the least restrictive and 10 the most. There are two categories - governmentally restrictive and socially restrictive.

To answer the questions that make up the indexes, Pew Forum researchers combed through 19 widely cited, publicly available sources of information, including reports by the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Council of the European Union, the United Kingdom's Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, Freedom House and Amnesty International.

None of the countries in the study got a zero.

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Of the 25 most populous countries examined, Brazil and Japan ranked the best in government restrictions.

The worst countries in both categories include Russia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and India.

But it's the ranking of the United States that was particularly surprising to researcher Brian Grim.

"These were surprising findings because the U.S. (and Switzerland) are not countries where we've typically seen these levels of hostilities," he said, referring to two previous studies Pew did on the topic - research that characterized the U.S. as more tolerant to different religious expressions.

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The U.S. had previously scored a two, according to Grim. The newest study gives it a 3.4.

Grim said it's important to keep in mind that the 2009-2010 time-frame doesn't account for recent events which he said could have given the U.S. an even worse score, such as the August killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

The study does however take into account a "number of reports involving people who were prevented from wearing religious attire, like beards, in the judicial settings and prison," he said.

There were also more reported restrictions on zoning permits to expand or build religious centers.

In 2009, Muslims living in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, saw construction of a new community center and mosque vandalized and then torched.

In Colorado in 2010, an appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that Boulder County commissioners discriminated against the Rocky Mountain Christian Church by denying it permits to expand its school and worship facilities, although commissioners had issued permits to a nearby secular school for a similar expansion, Pew found.

Pew culled from numerous sources, including various government reports and data from the Department of Justice.

Grim said a spike in religion-related terror attacks in the U.S. influenced the country's score. He pointed to the December 2009 attempt by a Nigerian Islamist to blow up an airliner arriving in Detroit, Michigan, and the Times Square attempted bombing in New York by a Pakistani-American who observed extremist Islam.

Pew also took into account the 2009 killings at Fort Hood. The alleged killer, an Army psychiatrist who had turned to radical Islam, was recently forced to shave his beard to appear in a military court.

Also in 2010, Oklahoma banned Islam's Sharia law in 2010. The change to Oklahoma's state law passed a statewide vote, but a federal appeals court struck down the amendment in January 2012, saying it violated the First Amendment.

Pew also wrote that "social hostilities" in the U.S. reflects an increase in reported religion-related workplace discrimination complaints.

Complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rose from 3,386 in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2009, to 3,790 in the year ending on September 30, 2010.

The number of cases that the EEOC determined had "reasonable cause" rose from 136 to 314 during that period.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. mikem

    In Law We Trust.

    September 21, 2012 at 4:13 am |
    • nope

      @mike...
      nope

      September 21, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      September 21, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  2. Maxdude

    Religion is a sign of stupidity. If you'd apply any of of their stories to the present you'd be considered insane or stupid for thinking it's true. At home I have a talking snake? My great great grand father is 600 years old and he just finished building a huge boat? Grow a pair and tell those religious brainwashing zealots to shove it up theirs. I THINK THEREFORE I DON'T BELIEVE.

    September 21, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • ArmyCSM

      I live in Utah where the followers of Joseph Smith believe he translated gold tablets that he had in a hat using two stone lenses! It doesn't take a great deal of curiosity to ask if one may see the tablets and the stones? However, it turns out that old Joe was the only person god allowed to see them. There are many, many other thing about this religion that make it and Scientology the cultist of the cults and I believe all religions are cults.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • GenericMan

      @ ArmyCSM – That is no more crazy than a talking snake or parting the red sea.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • mikem

      Is it just coincidence that the children of Christian parents grow up to be Christian and the children of Muslim parents grow up to be Muslim and so on? No. It's because parents and the church/mosque brainwash their kids into not being freethinking Americans. That alone is un-American.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:19 am |
    • nope

      @mikem
      nope

      September 21, 2012 at 5:43 am |
    • snopes says

      nope to nope

      September 21, 2012 at 8:53 am |
  3. Anon

    Obamas fault. The democratic party has a war on christmas going at the moment. Mittens 2012! LEAVE SANTA ALONE!

    September 21, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Why would Obama care about a Pagan holiday?

      September 21, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  4. najam

    The hate war and deep rooted animosity between the extremists of different relegions and many factions of some religions been going on since very long time. First capital punishment crimes were fabricated even against Jesus, the greatest healer of mankind, who
    was so barbaricly crucified by his own religious Pharisees, 11 of 12 apostles of Jesus were persecuted and loyalty of the 12th Apostle i.e. of Judas Isacriot's was bought only for 30 silver coins who had led the King Herods' soldiers and pharisees to capture Jesus for crucifation. The pages of history are full with the facts, that wars of hatred between different religions and its factions, have inflicted formidable harms and destructions to many nations and some of the most advanced civilizations of the time, and as such ruined several generations in East and West. If in the name of socalled Freedom of speech and expression the extremists of all such religions and factions are allowed to use our most beautiful and beloved Country USA as the battle ground to settle centuries'
    old scores of animosity, hatred and revenge against each others, and under the cover of socalled freedom of speech/ expression, all these rival religions and factions are allowed to display their hateful and provacative films, videos, Ads and cartoons against each others at Subways, public places, railway stations, air ports, radio and TV Channels then in the long run, it may cause much greater and irreparable damage to the peace and stability of the entire Nation. As evident from the annlas of past history? As a humblest citizen I could only appeal to our Government that your first and foremost obligation is to ensure peace, harmony and security to all the citizens. For which it is imperative that no body should be allowed to use the land of USA as religious battle gound nor to hurt and exploite the religious sentiments of any other fellow citizens. God bless USA

    September 21, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Tereza De La Rosa

      "barbaricly crucified by his own religious Pharisees, 11 of 12 apostles of Jesus were persecuted and loyalty of the 12th Apostle i.e. of Judas Isacriot's was bought only for 30 silver coins"

      Except that you are ignoring the entirety of the works. First, it is disputed that Jesus ever existed. Second, the Gospel of Judas indicates that Jesus asked Judas to betray him as part of his destiny. Third, using some 2000 year old story about a prophet is hardly a basis for making references to religious intolerance. It is like citing Dr. Seuss on the evolution of language in modern France.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Responsible scholars do not dispute the existence of Jesus.

      September 21, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      @Bill
      Responsible scholars question everything until proven with empirical evidence. Of which..Jesus is not. That is the difference between the educated mind and a theists.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:54 am |
  5. OneTruth

    Whereas for your mum we'd have aborted you for free

    September 21, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  6. John

    Anyone can say they are part of a "religion," and demand special accommodation. Just because an employer doesn't allow someone to wear a crazy headpiece or bee keeper suit or huge cross around their neck or star of david belt buckle or scraggly beard to work doesn't necessarily mean it's "religious discrimination."

    September 21, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So by your standard, acts against other groups of people based on their beliefs or orientation are not discriminatory either? Or does that knife only slice one direction?

      September 21, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  7. redzoa

    Many comments have indicated the article does not provide enough information about the methods of the study. I certainly agree; however, the first hyperlink in the article does take one to the Pew site where you can read the questions and methods for yourself. Having perused the questions and methods, I am a little skeptical, particularly to the use of the word "hostile" in referencing State actions with respect to religion. Even in nations which enshrine religious free exercise in their controlling legal doc-uments, there are invariably constraints on this exercise necessary to preserve other rights. Not every constraint on free exercise would qualify under the common understanding of "hostile." For example, a state statute which removes a religious objection exception for immunizations for admission to public schools may be viewed as "hostile" by those who object to immunization on religious grounds, but the statute's purpose is not to suppress religious exercise, rather it is to protect and enhance public health.

    September 21, 2012 at 12:39 am |
  8. Crude

    Check out what Pat Condell has to say about the latest muslim riots. Just BRILLIANT!

    youtube.com/watch?v=GCXHPKhRCVg

    September 21, 2012 at 12:10 am |
  9. ScottCA

    moving from 2 to 3.4 out of 10 does not sound like that dramatic of a change.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      If that was your tax rate changing you would scream bloody murder. It is a HUGE change.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      it is a 70% increase

      September 21, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  10. ohsnap

    Many would be surprised to know the the Bible actually predicts that governments are going to turn on religion and outlaw it. The reason is because they have strayed away from His regulations and began mixing in politics. It calls religion 'a harlot' because it has 'forbidden relations with governments'. Whether it's true or not, it's interesting to see the turn of events in the world regarding religions.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
    • hateyousomuch

      Wanna know why someone would be surprised to find out the bible says that? It is because the bible says no such thing. Feel free to try to find the scripture to quote on this outlawing of religion by government.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  11. robert

    Not surprising that the worst offenders are religious nations. True religious freedom is only available in secular nations where the government does not support one religion over another. I am curious though if banning the hijab is considered hostile to religion because one of the arguments made for banning it is that it is imposed on women and not chosen. In that case being hostile to religion which is hostile to human rights would be a reasonable trade-off.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • samstubbs

      You're very right on most accounts. Russia would be the exception... Russia is notoriously secular... I think when any country leans towards one extreme or the other, it just turns out bad for everyone.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:10 am |
  12. postedbygeo

    Yes, it is time that those perverted religions from the midleast are exposed and ignored. Cannablism, blood drinking, child abusing ways of life are not needed.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I did not realize that the Vatican was in the middle east...

      September 21, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Observer

      – Deuteronomy 28:45-53 “Israel, if you don't obey the laws and teachings that the Lord your God is giving you. . . Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you”
      -Moses

      September 21, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      The Vatican didn’t invent its religion MarkinFL. Learn before you speak.

      September 21, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  13. Doc_77

    How dare you! Ometecuhtli demands blood sacrifice!

    September 20, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
  14. Jennifer Lawrence

    I know that persecution of Christians has been rising more than ever. Just last month a Christian cross was removed from the side of the road where an accident had occurred. Christians are being silenced while Muslims are allowed to burn down embassies and kill foreign ambasadors. Say a prayer for America because she needs it more than ever. I do believe the prophecy of Revelation is coming true. For saved believers in Jesus, knowing that His return is approaching is the most comforting aspect of this spiral downwards, even if it will be a painful fall for all believers.

    September 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Exactly who are you saying is "allowing" Muslims to burn down embassies and kill ambassadors? Have people not been arrested? Is anyone saying, "oh well, I guess that's okay?" Methinks you are hyperbolic.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Darryl B.

      Perhaps you didn't read the article closely enough. Many of the examples of why the US has a higher ranking were examples of persecution of or limitations imposed on members of non-Christian religions, typically BY Christians. It's not a measure of hostility toward Christians; it's a measure of hostility toward religion. And a large amount of the hostility in the US is directed FROM Christians, not TOWARD them.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Jennifer Lawrence

      @Darryl B, the majority of religious persecution in America is directed towards Christians, culminating with the elimination of the right to say Merry Christmas at Christmas shopping. Tell me, what does it say when in a historically Christian society, Christians are not even allowed to acknowledge one of our most important holidays? Surely in the middle east they can say happy ramadan or whatever their greeting may be, without fear of being charged with a hate crime, or without fear of people cringing in shock. Yes, shock. People are shocked when people even say Merry Christmas in America now. I think that's a travesty, and if you think that has nothing to do with persecution of Christians, please take the blinders off.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Christians are often in deepest persecution mode as they stomp around on the rights of non-Christians.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Jennifer, I don't even move about in a particularly religious segment of society, but no one around me has ever been "shocked" by being wished a Merry Christmas. I think you may be spending a little more time with Fox and Friends in the morning than you spending outside in the real world.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Jennifer Lawrence

      " Christians are being silenced while Muslims are allowed to burn down embassies and kill foreign ambasadors[sic]. "

      Where do you get that the fanatics were "allowed" to burn down our embassy ? And 'christians' being silenced... are you kidding ?

      We have been bombing the sh!t out of a good part of the ME for 10-11 years now ? And, in "this" country... the U.S... you, as a Christian, but more importantly as an American, have virtually unlimited freedoms.

      And, you're complaining that not everyone may like to hear you belt out "merry christmas" ?

      Give me a break.

      Peace...

      September 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • Kevy Soups

      Actually, it's not the Christians that are causing the problem. It's FALSE FLAG attacks the Muslim brotherhood are doing so the world will have pitty on them.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • cosmicc

      If they're shocked to hear you say "merry christmas" maybe it's because they expect that to come from good Christians. You need to realize that preventing you from forcing your religion down the throats of non-believers is not persecution. Just the opposite, it's protecting the freedom of those who don't want someone else's beliefs legislated.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • redzoa

      "culminating with the elimination of the right"

      Please reference a case in which this happened at the demand of a state agency. Alternatively, please reference a case in which this happened where the restriction was not based in an employer-employee relationship?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:43 am |
    • Jd Jr

      Unfortunately true. Christian rights, along with the rights of many other religions, are being restricted. remember the 10 Commandments fight? The ban on Bibles from a few military branches (but Korans and "nature stones" are fine)? A little something called "ban on prayer" in schools?

      On the other hand, there have been some interesting legal cases building.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • redzoa

      @JD jr – To my knowledge, all your examples represent clear violations of the Establishment Clause. The 10 commandments cases, given the 1st commandment, are generally based on context and primary purpose. In cases where the context and purpose where not historical or not neutral viewpoint, their placement was unconst-tutional. The military bibles case that I'm aware of was simply to limit the use of official military insignias on religious books. Not only is this good 1st amendment law, but has good practical field rationales as well (it doesn't look good to have a U.S. military endorsed bible floating around Afghanistan). Lastly, the ban on school prayer is a ban on school-led prayer, not prayer in school. Students are free to pray and organize faith groups with equal access to facilities as other student groups receive. However, school officials are not allowed to lead these prayers over the school mic at morning announcements or at the beginning of classes.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • Tony

      Why is it Christians can persecute others at will, but whenever another "belief system" tries to express itself, the Christians yell "Christian persecution"? Tell me, are you in favor of prayers in school, or to start city council meetings? Do you support scriptural writings being displayed at public buildings (schools, courthouses, etc.)? Do you believe these displays are protected under the first amendment? Would you stand up and fight to allow these things to exist? Would you fight for these things if they were Islamic, Buddhist or even Atheistic? If your local city council meeting was started with an Islamic prayer (and ONLY an Islamic prayer), would you be supportive? What if each such meeting was started with a different denominational prayer each time, but NEVER included a Christian one? What if teachings from the Buddha instead of the 10 commandments were displayed on large granite monuments at your child's school or local courthouse? No, you'd cal it "Christian persecution". But we don't have Islamic prayers at council meetings or sporting events, we have CHRISTIAN prayers, AND ONLY CHRISTIAN PRAYERS! We don't have monuments to Buddhist teachings, we have them to the 10 commandments, a set of "rules" NO ONE OBEYS! Isn't all of this the Christians persecuting all other beliefs by not allowing them their freedoms?

      I have no sympathy for Christians when they cry that they are being persecuted. To that I simply say "How Does It Feel?" A Christian tenet is "the Golden Rule", i.e. "do unto others as you would have others do unto you". But virtually no Christian is willing to live by this rule, especially when it comes to religious expression and freedoms. The Christians have to have it all, or at least, the lion's share, while everyone else get next to nothing. And then when someone complains about this inequity, the Christians cry foul. As I said, I have no sympathy for the poor, "persecuted" Christians.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:04 am |
    • Athy

      Jennifer, I think you're overreacting a tad. I'm a devout atheist (thus my name) but have no problem celebrating Christmas. Nor do I resent the phrase "Merry Christmas". Where I live there's no problem with Christmas, we all celebrate it. Likewise Easter. What I don't do is go to a fancy building every Sunday morning and grovel on my knees to worship some non-existent big boss in hopes that he will be nice to me when I croak. And then listen to some dude in a fancy robe tell how to live my life.That, to any rational person, is absurd.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • OneTruth

      JD Jr. It is not a right to display the ten commandments or any religious symbols on public buildings – courthouses, government buildings, schools, etc. If you can't remember them and need them on display you have the right to do that in your home, car, etc.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Ruby

      Christians do love to feel persecuted. However, being expected to obay the same laws as everyone else is not persecution, just as the US is not a Christian nation but rather home to all faiths or the lack thereof.
      Get over it.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Tereza De La Rosa

      "@Darryl B, the majority of religious persecution in America is directed towards Christians"

      Absolute horsedookey. You are being brainwashed if you believe that. You obviously haven't lived as an atheist, or you would have an idea of what persecution really is. Removing a cross from the side of the road (government property) is NOT persecution, that is a huge mistake on your part. That is just following the secular rules that prohibit any government endorsement of religion.

      September 21, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  15. Jimbo

    I'm still upset that my parents told me Santa Clause wasn't real like 25 years ago then they stopped trying to hide it, it really hurt my feelings, waaaaaaaa! Stop believing in your fairy tale sky monster and your feelings won't be so hurt, bunch o' babies.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • *

      *Claus

      September 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • CM

      Don't be part of the problem, twit

      September 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  16. Marcello

    The hostility toward faith on this so-called "Belief Blog" is both stunning and sad. Here's another lightning rod for you devils to gnash your teeth at:

    "...it has become abundantly clear in the second half of the twentieth century that Western Man has decided to abolish himself. Having wearied of the struggle to be himself, he has created his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, his own vulnerability out of his own strength; himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his own city tumbling down, and, in a process of auto-genocide, convincing himself that he is too numerous, and labouring accordingly with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer in order to be an easier prey for his enemies; until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keels over a weary, battered old brontosaurus and becomes extinct.”

    Malcolm Muggeridge

    September 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • mama kindless

      wow – I guessing this dude was on a bath salt coc ktail to write such rubbish.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • mama kindless

      But regardless, when someone writes something like that has that much generalization while also trying to tie together so many different, often unrelated categories of people, you can usually write it off as emotional and uneducated. I sure did as soon as I read it.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • barlowc

      Just Muggeridge spouting off his hateful christian apologist tripe. Have you seen his discussion with Cleese and Palin over the Life of Brian? He comes over as obnoxious and arrogant, and time has delivered to us the final score: Brian-1; Muggerridge:0.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Just call me Lucifer

      How do you think I feel? I'm gonna lose my job if this keeps up.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  17. Bill

    When every country is a 10, the world will be a better place.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • CM

      Wow...another nice comment from a very enlightened tolerate Progressive...

      September 20, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Aristocles

      I suppose you forgot the liberal value of freedom of religion. Amazing how liberals will fight for some rights, then forget that fight when something else catches their eye.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Athy

      Unfortunately, when all the slow countries reach 10, ours will be a 20.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:19 am |
  18. CMR

    Christians, we don't judge we educate and plant the seed!

    God Bless!!!

    September 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • sybaris

      and the christian seed grows into a filthy perverted disease of the mind.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • theshoeminator

      The fact that you think the rest of us need to be educated is judgement enough. Most atheists and agnostics became that way because they actually read the Bible. So keep on educating, you'll just make more unbelievers.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Jimbo

      Educate? Bwahahahahaha!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      The fact that you don't know the difference between proselytizing and educating bespeaks a certain judgmentalism on your part.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Athy

      Educate? How the fuck could you educate when you're just beginning to realize the world is a sphere over 6000 years old? Religion is like an anvil around the neck of science.

      September 21, 2012 at 1:23 am |
  19. Young Autistic Man

    Fortunately many countries are not like China. If a Chinese citizen tries to spread the gospel in mainland China, then one possible outcome is torture. Another outcome is jail.

    September 20, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • sybaris

      The Chinese got it right.

      Willful ignorance should never be allowed to thrive.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Young Autistic Man

      You support torture for a person just spreading the gospel. It shows how civilized you are.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • sybaris

      if it keeps people from becoming powerful enough to use an army to invade a country and murder tens of thousands of innocent civilians all because of their belief in religious fairy tales, then yes.

      Why did George Bush invade Iraq? Because he believed his god told him it was the right thing to do.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Young Autistic Man

      The classic Bush example. First off, Bush did not killed off thousands of innocent lives. Most of the innocent lives that was killed was not by our military forces that he sent. The innocent lives were mainly by other Iraqis. The soldiers were not drafted by the government. They chose to go to Iraq and some of them did lose their lives. This is coming from someone who disagree with the Iraq "war".

      Stalin and Pol Pot were not religious yet they killed thousands of innocent lives.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  20. sybaris

    Here's some religious restriction:

    Bibles in every motel room
    God on our money
    Prayer before public events
    Christian cable networks 24/7
    Discounts on insurance for being christian
    Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
    Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
    God in the Pledge of Allegiance
    Televangelists 24/7
    Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Bible School and “repent or go to He.ll”
    Federally recognized Christian holiday
    Radioevangelists 24/7
    Religious organizations are tax free
    75% of the population claims to be Christian
    National day of prayer
    God in the National Anthem
    Weekday Christian Education for elementary students.

    If you're not christian in the U.S. then yes, christians will restrict the growth and practice of your religion

    September 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      sybaris,

      Yep, and:

      San Diego
      Los Angeles
      Santa Barbara
      Santa Monica
      San Bernardino
      San Francisco
      Santa Rosa
      Saint Louis
      Corpus Christi
      Santa Fe
      St. Petersburg
      St. Paul
      San Antonio
      San Angelo
      and many others, that have not been, and will not be, asked to remove the religious reference in their names... soooo persecuted!

      September 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Smithsonian

      Mass murderer who killed for religion can't wear religious beard in a military court. America is so effin' restrictive and oppressive!

      September 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • cosmicc

      Last I heard, he hadn't been convicted.

      September 21, 2012 at 12:27 am |
    • Smithsonian

      When will people stop oppressing the American Christians who hold a mere 96% of all national level elected offices and governorships? Will their voice never be fully heard or appreciated in this land of religious restriction?

      September 21, 2012 at 12:48 am |
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About this blog

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.