A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.2 Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%).
Harassment and intimidation by governments or social groups take many forms, including physical assaults, arrests and detentions, the desecration of holy sites and discrimination against religious groups in employment, education and housing. Harassment and intimidation also include such things as verbal assaults on members of one religious group by other groups or individuals.
Overall, across the five years of this study, religious groups were harassed in a total of 185 countries at one time or another. Adherents of the world’s two largest religious groups, Christians and Muslims – who together comprise more than half of the global population – were harassed in the largest number of countries, 145 and 129 respectively.17 Jews, who comprise less than 1% of the world’s population, experienced harassment in a total of 90 countries, while members of other world faiths were harassed in a total of 75 countries.
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