Monday, October 01, 2012

Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion

(click on years above to see how restrictions have changed)

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life:
The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the year ending in mid-2010. Because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, three-quarters of the world’s approximately 7 billion people live in countries with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, up from 70% a year earlier.

Restrictions on religion rose not only in countries that began the year with high or very high restrictions or hostilities, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, but also in many countries that began with low or moderate restrictions or hostilities, such as Switzerland and the United States. (See sidebar on the U.S..)
Read the whole thing.

Question:  If you consider there to be a market for religion, what impact do you expect government restrictions to have on these market outcomes?  As government restrictions become  stronger in given regions, do you expect a 'black market' for religion to emerge?  Does this match what we see in many countries?

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