Europe: Religious Freedom Loses Relevance

News Image By Evangelical Focus March 16, 2020
Share this article:

The global consensus on the importance of democratic rights has not always led to a strong democratic commitment of the governments. This is one of the conclusions of a Pew Research survey with respondents of 34 countries. 

"A median of 52% of respondents are dissatisfied with how their democracy is working", and "Greeks, Bulgarians and Nigerians register the highest levels of dissatisfaction", the report says. 

Additionally, 64% believe elected authorities do not care enough about what the views of the general population are, and one in two thinks "the State does not work for the benefit of all people". 

This perception of disaffection has increased in the last years, Pew Research explained. An example is Italy, where the percentage of people who agree that the state is run for the benefit of all people has fallen from 88% in 2002 to 30% in 2019.

Most respondents (82%) still believe having a fair judiciary is the most important. Gender equality (74%) is also seen as very relevant, followed by religious freedom (68%) and other rights such as regular democratic elections (65%), freedom of expression (64%) and freedom of the press (64%).


In regards to religious freedom, Europe breaks the trend of the rest of the world. For European respondents, this right is "the least common response" in the case of four countries - Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Spain.

Overall, only 57% of Europeans see religious freedom as a "very important" right, much behind fair judiciary (87%), gender equality (85%), free internet (69%) and others.

Religious freedom "is the lowest priority" in many secular nations, "especially in Europe", the report says. "The same is true in Japan, South Korea and Canada".

The highest appreciation of religious freedom in Europe is found in Greece (83%), United Kingdom (75%) and Germany (72%) and Hungary (70%).

The lowest interest in religious freedom is found in France (52%), Slovakia (52%), Sweden (53%) and Spain (54%).


The opinions change drastically if we look at the Global South countries. In Africa, Nigeria (88%), South Africa (80%) and Kenya (75%) place religious freedom as the number one priority.

In Asian countries the appreciation of free religion is seen similarly. Respondents in India and Indonesia see religious freedom as the top priority; 78% and 79%, respectively.

Being able to practice religion comes as second most important right for respondents in Lebanon (82%), Israel (77%), Tunis (75%), Brazil (82%) and Philippines (74%).

Originally published at Evangelical Focus - reposted with permission.

Other News

May 21, 2020Will Some Churches Be Forced To Close For The Entire Duration Of COVID-19?

Churches remain closed in many states, and some churches in states that have "reopened" are now being forced to close down again....

May 21, 2020The Bizarre Way Some Businesses Are Enforcing Social Distancing

Places that used to be bustling with human customers and spectators are now being populated with...mannequins, cardboard cut-outs and stuf...

May 21, 2020The 'Free Money' Most Americans Want More Of Comes At A Price

Today, most of our politicians are socialists whether they accept that label or not, and the American people have come to expect the gover...

May 21, 2020Renowned Christian Apologist Ravi Zacharias Goes Home To Be With The Lord

Frederick Antony Ravi Kumar Zacharias was born in Madras, now Chennai, in 1946, in the shadow of the resting place of the apostle Thomas, ...

May 19, 2020Solar Minimum Could Bring Drastic Changes To Our Planet

At a time when the world is already being hit with major crisis after major crisis, our sun is behaving in ways that we have never seen be...

May 19, 2020The Rise Of Homeschooling - The Battle Over Education Is Just Getting Started

For the far-Left, who's desperately trying to keep kids in the grip of their radical curriculum, the surge in homeschooling is their worst...

May 19, 2020Army Chaplain Faces Court Martial For Sharing Christian Book On Coronavirus

Asking a chaplain to do his job without his faith is like asking an Army sergeant to go to war without a weapon. But thanks to a handful o...

Get Breaking News