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Thursday, January 23, 2014 | return to: news & features, international


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Religious tensions worldwide at 6-year high

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Jews and Muslims experienced six-year highs in the number of countries in which they were harassed, according to a new study.

Jews were harassed by groups or individuals in 71 countries in 2012, compared with 51 in 2007, according to the study of 198 countries and territories released this week by the Pew Research Center. Muslims were harassed in 109 countries in 2012, up from 96 in 2007.

While the number of countries in which Muslims were harassed fluctuated in the six years, the number for Jews increased steadily.

The proportion of nations with a “high” or “very high” level of social hostilities involving religion also reached a six-year peak.

As in 2011, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Egypt made the list of “countries with very high social hostilities related to religion.” Newcomers to the 2012 list included Lebanon and Syria.

Religious hostilities increased in every major region of the world except the Americas, with the sharpest increases in the Middle East and North Africa. — jta


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