Sweden is one of the ten countries in the world where social conflict tied to religion is increasing the most, according to a new study from the American Research Center Pew.
But daily Svenska Dagbladet reports that Swedish experts disagree.The study sighted the 2008 riots in the Rosengård area of Malmö that started after a mosque was closed. But Swedish experts say there was no religious motive behind the Rosengård riots. The study also refers to a report by Brå (the National Council for Crime Prevention) that shows the number of hate crimes against Muslims has increased. But Brå says hate crimes against Muslims rise and fall in different years and that there has not been a steady increasing trend.
The report, by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, looked at statistics and government data spanning from 2006 to 2009. Christians in 130 countries - 66 percent of the world's countries - experienced government laws and social harassment, according to the Pew report. Muslims faced government and social harassment in slightly fewer countries, with incidents reported in 117 countries. Many of those countries overlap with incidents against both religions, suggesting ongoing strife between the two religions, according to the report. Religious intolerance is highest in the Middle East and Europe.
The world’s most geographically concentrated religious groups – Hindus and Buddhists – also experienced discrimination in 27 and 16 countries, respectively.
Click to read the full report: Rising Restrictions on Religion