Friday, November 19, 2010

U.S. State Department's Report on Religious Freedom

The link is to the executive summary.  You can go country by country by navigating around the page.  What I noticed is how unique real religious freedom is in the world.  There are places where it is more or less the norm, with a few exceptions - mostly in Europe and the United States.  But by and large, religious intolerance is fairly common.  This is particularly the case in many Muslim countries and countries throughout Asia.  In America, though we hear tales of rampaging hordes of racist, Islamaphobic Americans storming the Mosques and making the streets run red with the blood of hapless Muslims, it's somewhat noteworthy that these things really don't happen that often.  Remember the New York City Mosque debate, when for a couple of weeks the MSM obsessed about that story?  What did we hear?  We heard that violence was erupting all over the country. That was the story.  That violence was happening everywhere against Muslims.  There were no actual stories of violence, the fact that violence was reported was the story.  Anyone hear any specific stories?  Apart from the Mosque under construction that was burned in Tennessee, I don't recall any.  And I've not heard of any since.  Almost makes me wonder.  Don't think I don't. 

So despite our insistence that America is a hotbed of religious intolerance, the facts appear to suggest otherwise.  Sure, there are some, particularly among religious traditionalists, who appear increasingly intolerant, and some folks are starting to suggest that Islam may not be welcome in America after all.  Likewise, in a strange twist of events, some of the Left are beginning to suggest that religions that do not embrace progressive Goodthink should be handed the second-class citizen card and barred from further participation in the public discourse.  But as of now, these are not followed through with violence, persecution, or legal action.

Compare that to other countries.  In most cases, the best of them include instances where various religious majorities are taking advantage of loopholes in national law to dominate and intimidate those not of their faith.  In many cases, particularly in many Islamic countries and Asian societies, the persecution is from the top down, either legally sanctioned because of constitutional provisions, or at least legally encouraged.  People are dying in some of those places. Even if the governments aren't doing it, they have fomented a culture in which the violent oppression of religious minorities is tolerated, if not encouraged. 

So there's a lot to look at.  Enjoy the read.  Pray for those who are persecuted no matter what their faith.  Pray that we, in America, continue to champion freedom of religion, and that means freedom for Muslims of good faith and even religious conservatives who do not celebrate secular or progressive values.  And pray that those places around the world, who make up the bulk of the international scene, where religion is not free, eventually change their tunes for the sake of all involved.


  1. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I just hope that we do not end up some day like so many countries around the world.

  2. I am amazed at how little attention is given to the crimes against believers around the world versus the attention given to someone here at home who merely wants to burn a Koran.

  3. Religion does so much good for the world doesn't it.

  4. Well it all depends on what religion you are talking about. If you mean Muslim extremists- they have murdered and continue to murder. If you talk about Jews they have been murdered for their religion. If you speak of Christianity - that all depends on what denomination or religious expression you are talking about - but in the end Christianity and Judaism have accomplished things that no atheist group or non religious group ever could. Doing some research and see how many help organizations have a base from a Christian or Jewish organization.


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