Study: Hostility Against Jews Reached Seven-year High in 2013

Although religion-based hostility declined worldwide, harassment of Jews by government and social groups rose in every one of the seven years so far tracked by Pew Research.

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 A woman lights candles in front of the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in Paris January 21, 2015.
A woman lights candles in front of the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in Paris January 21, 2015.Credit: Reuters

Religion-based hostilities worldwide declined in 2013 but harassment of Jews that year reached a seven-year high, a research study says.

About 27% of the world's countries saw high or very high levels of religion-based social hostilities in 2013, down from 33% in 2012, Pew Research reported.

The Washington research group defines these events as including, among others, "vandalism of religious property," "desecration of sacred texts" and "violent assaults resulting in deaths and injuries." The survey assessed religion-based hostile events in 198 countries.

"In 2013, harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 77 countries (39%)," the report, dated Thursday, says.

That percentage has risen in every one of the seven years Pew has been tracking the subject, starting with 26% in 2007.

And the report said "Jews are much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments."

Christians and Muslims, "who together make up more than half of the global population, faced harassment in the largest number of countries," the report says.

Christians were harassed, either by government or social groups, in 102 countries (52%), while Muslims were harassed in 99 countries (50%), Pew reported.

The survey also looked at governmental restrictions on religion, finding sharp or very sharp restrictions in 39% of the countries. These countries include 77% of the world's population.

Among the 25 most populous countries, "China had the highest level of government restrictions in 2013, and India had the highest level of social hostilities involving religion," Pew reported.

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