October 2016 – While government and social hostilities against religious groups are down slightly from the past several years, there has been a notable increase in terrorist activities related to religion. The number of countries where these terrorist acts took place increased from 73 in 2013 to 82 in 2014.
Looking further back, the increase is more dramatic. In 2007, seven countries had one to nine casualties from terrorist attacks. In 2014, 22 countries had that many deaths. More than 50 casualties from attacks occurred in eight countries in 2007, but in 28 countries in 2014.
Since 2007, the Middle East and North Africa have consistently had the highest levels of non-terrorist social and government hostilities against religion. Christians and Muslims continue to be the most harassed religious groups, with the harassment of Christians expanding from 102 countries last year to 108 countries this year. Muslims experienced harassment in 100 countries, similar to the previous year. In addition, the harassment of Jews reached an eight-year high.