The number of countries in which Christians suffer from government restrictions and social hostilities grew from 108 to 128 in one year, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

The study, which covered 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, also found harassment of religious believers of all kinds rose for the first time in three years.

The lengthy report tied the rising level of persecution to the record number of refugees – almost all Muslim – entering Europe.

The report documents governmental laws, policies and actions that restrict religious beliefs and practices as well as “acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society.”

Pew said that to “track these indicators of government restrictions and social hostilities, researchers combed through more than a dozen publicly available, widely cited sources of information, including the U.S. State Department’s annual reports on international religious freedom and annual reports from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, as well as reports from a variety of European and U.N. bodies and several independent, nongovernmental organizations.”

“House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World” conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government

Among the findings: “Christians and Muslims were harassed in the most countries in 2015, continuing a trend from previous years. The number of countries where they were harassed grew significantly for both groups, from 108 to 128 for Christians and from 100 to 125 for Muslims.

“Jews faced harassment in 74 countries in 2015, down from 81 countries in 2014. Still, Jews – who make up just 0.2 percent of the world’s population – faced harassment in a notably large number of countries.”

The report found Hindus were harassed in 18 nations, Buddhists in seven and the religiously unaffiliated, such as “atheists, agnostics and those who do not identify with any religion,” were harassed in 14.

The report said Christians were harassed by the government in 97 nations and suffered social harassment in 94 nations in the two categories that overlap. For Muslims, there was governmental harassment in 106 nations, social harassment in 94.

The evaluation said the nations with “high or very high restrictions, hostilities” rose in 2015 for the first time in several years.

Fifty nations, 25 percent, were at the highest level for government restrictions; and 53 countries, 27 percent, were at the highest level for social hostilities.

The Pew Center assessed there were 105 governments where there was “widespread” harassment of religious believers, 52 nations with “limited harassment” and only 41 with none.

“The global rise in social hostilities reflected a number of factors, including increases in mob violence related to religion, individuals being assaulted or displaced due to their faith, and incidents where violence was used to enforce religious norms,” the report said. “In Europe, for instance, there were 17 countries where incidents of religion-related mob violence were reported in 2015, up from nine the previous year.”

Incidents in 2015 largely predate the biggest problems that have developed with the massive migration of Muslims from war-torn regions of Syria and its neighbors into nations with Christian heritages, such as Sweden and Germany.

The reports of sexual assault, violence and other mayhem have been legion amid that development.

Governmental limits and the use of force against religious groups rose across the Middle East and North Africa, Asia and the Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.

Alarmingly, Pew said that while the Middle East-North Africa region “continued to have the largest proportion of governments that engaged in harassment and use of force against religious groups (95 percent), Europe had the largest increase in these measures in 2015.”

“More than half of the 45 countries in the region (53 percent) experienced an increase in government harassment or use of force. … Twenty-seven European countries (60 percent) saw widespread government harassment or intimidation of religious groups in 2015.”

The report said the governments of 24 countries in Europe, 53 percent, used some type of force against religious groups.

“Some incidents of government harassment measured by this study – which are not always physical, but may include derogatory statements by public officials or discrimination against certain religious groups – were related to Europe’s incoming refugee population,” the report said.

“In 2015, 1.3 million migrants applied for asylum in Europe, nearly doubling the previous annual high of about 700,000 in 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than half (54 percent) came from three Muslim-majority countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.”

The report explained incidents involving force “took place in a climate influenced by threats and attacks from religiously inspired terrorist groups.”

“France experienced several religion-related terror attacks in 2015, including the Jan. 7 shooting at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the Nov. 13 attacks claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) at the Bataclan concert hall and various other locations throughout Paris. In the days following the Paris attacks, Germany cancelled an international soccer match because of security threats, and Belgian authorities arrested 16 people suspected of planning similar acts.”

The most extreme levels of government restrictions were found in 23 nations, led by Egypt, China, Iran, Russian, Uzbekistan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Syria and Morocco.

The nations with the worst social hostilities were, in order, Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, India, Israel, Yemen, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan territories and Pakistan.

“House of War: Islam’s Jihad Against the World” conveys what the West needs to know about Islam and the violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the subjugation and destruction of other faiths, cultures and systems of government

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