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How Governments Restrict Religion Around the World

Between 2009 and 2011, researchers compiled data on restrictions and burdens placed by world governments on the practice of religion by minority religious groups in their countries. Individual reports were generated for each of 175 sovereign nations, covering 597 minority religious groups. The reports were generated by reviewing human rights reports, academic resources and news media sources, and applying a list of specific types of religious restrictions. This data set is focused on “restrictions of the practice of religion itself or on religious institutions,” according to the overview on the website of the Association of Religion Data Archives, a site for high-quality surveys, codebooks, and white papers addressing religion across the globe

More information about this data and its collection procedure is available on the ARDA website, as is the original codebook, allowing researchers to conduct their own analysis. This dataset is a supplement to round two of the Religion and State Project. For additional sources of reliable congregational, cultural, demographic, denominational, seminary and youth research, see our article, “Best Resources for Research,” and material under the subheadings of our Research tab.

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