Mark Your Calendars!
April 20: Publication of the next Religious Freedom in the World Report
On April 20, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will present the 15th edition of the “Religious Freedom in the World Report” (RFR). It is the only study conducted by a Catholic institution which analyzes the observance and respect of this human right in all countries of the world (196) and covers all religions. It is also the only one available in six languages.
The “Religious Freedom in the World Report” has been published since 1999 and launched by the 23 offices of the international charity around the world every two years.
The official launch will take place in Rome at 11:00 a.m., in parallel with Paris and Madrid. Events will also be held in Sao Paolo, London, Berlin and Manila. In Canada, the presentation will take place at 1:30 p.m. (EDT—Montreal and Toronto time) allowing people in the western part of Canada as far as Calgary and Vancouver to take part in the conference during their morning hours. Due to the pandemic, most of the events will take place online.
With the report, Aid to the Church in Need intends to underline religious freedom as a fundamental right (Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and warn of serious setbacks in this regard in many countries the world over. Religion is a trigger for discrimination, exclusion, and persecution for millions of people of all faiths around the world. For this reason, ACN is utilizing this report to raise awareness of the need to protect and defend this fundamental human right.
As Pope Francis has stated: In those countries where religious freedom is guaranteed the foundations are laid for a truly human coexistence.
What is new?
The report includes a world map on which countries are classified according to their level of religious discrimination and persecution. For the first time, it includes six regional analyses, into which the 196 countries have been subdivided and which provide relevant findings on the fulfilment or violation of this fundamental right.
Another innovation of the report is the classification of countries in a new category “under observation,” which includes those countries where the state of religious freedom is starting to become threatening.
A total of 30 authors, independent experts and research teams at universities and study centres from different continents have analyzed every country in the world over the past two years according to objective criteria and a precise methodology.
The report is addressed to journalists, academics, scientists, politicians—believers and non-believers alike—to emphasize how important it is for human dignity and the successful development of societies to be able to exercise this fundamental right.