Over one in five countries have an official state religion and a majority of them are Muslim states.
A recent report by Pew found Islam to be the official religion in 27 countries spread over Asia, Sub-Sahara and North Africa and the Middle-East.
A further 20 per cent of the states have preferred or favoured religion while 53 per cent have no official or preferred religion and 5 per cent are hostile to religion.
Thirteen countries were found to be officially Christian and a further 28 out of 40 countries have Christianity as favoured religion in the said category.
Buddhism is the state religion in two countries, Judaism is one while Hinduism is not listed as the official faith of any country.
“In some cases, state religions have roles that are largely ceremonial. But often the distinction comes with tangible advantages in terms of legal or tax status, ownership of real estate or other property, and access to financial support from the state. In addition, countries with state-endorsed (or ‘established’) faiths tend to more severely regulate religious practice, including placing restrictions or bans on minority religious groups,” the report said.
“In a few cases, a country’s official religion is primarily a legacy of its history and now involves few, if any, privileges conferred by the state. And a few other countries fall at the other end of the spectrum, making their official religion mandatory for all citizens.”
The five per cent [10 countries] that were hostile to religion include China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and several former Soviet republics – places described in the Pew report “where government officials seek to control worship practices, public expressions of religion and political activity by religious groups”.
This article originally appeared on the Guardian.
The post Islam is the official state religion in 27 countries: survey appeared first on The Express Tribune.
Source: Tribune News
Original Post: Islam is the official state religion in 27 countries: survey