The range of religious freedom in 2008

Results of a global survey


  • Paul A. Marshall


Religious freedom, global survey, classification, geography, religion, human rights, US Department of State Reports on religious freedom


Religious freedom and religious persecution affect all religious groups and are not confined to any one area. There are large regional variations. North Africa and Asia generally tend to score poorly. Comparing countries according to religious background, historically Christian countries tend to score best, Buddhist countries either well or poorly, Hindu-majority countries don't score well, and Muslim-majority countries make up the areas with the largest current restrictions on religious freedom. Freedom of religion generally corresponds with civil liberties. The US Department of State reports on religious freedom are found to be exemplary, with some weaknesses and problems, which call for standardised criteria.

Author Biography

Paul A. Marshall

Paul A Marshall is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Centre for Religious Freedom. He serves on the Academic Board of the IIRF and has held several professorships in political science, law, philosophy and theology. He holds Masters degrees in Geochemistry and Philosophy, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science (York University), with further studies in international human rights law (Strasbourg) and theology (Oxford). He is the author and editor of over twenty books on religion and politics, especially religious freedom and of several hundred articles.