A controversial new study by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that restrictions on religion have risen throughout the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010 - including in the United States.
The U.S., among 16 countries examined (out of 197), including Switzerland, was included in the "hostilities jumped" category during that time period.
Brazil and Japan were ranked best (meaning; having the least) in the "government restrictions" category among the 25 most populous countries examined.
Russia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan and India were included in the worst countries in both categories.
The ranking of the United States, according to researcher Brian Grim, was influenced by a spike in religion-related terror attacks in the U.S.
Examples used included the December 2009 Nigerian Islamist attempt to blow up an airliner arriving in Detroit, Michigan; the Times Square attempted bombing in New York by a Pakistani-American Islamist as well as the 2009 killings at Fort Hood by radical Islamist convert Major Nidal Hassan.
Moreover, the alleged killer of the Fort Hood incident was recently forced to shave his beard to appear in a military court.
Also in 2010, Oklahoma banned Islam's Sharia law in a statewide vote. Thankfully, a federal appeals court struck down the amendment in January 2012, saying it violated the First Amendment.
Reported religion-related workplace discrimination complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rose from 3,386 in the fiscal year ending on September 30, 2009, to 3,790 in the year ending on September 30, 2010. Cases determined by EEOC to have had "reasonable cause" rose from 136 to 314 during that period.
The 2009-2010 time-frame doesn't account for recent events including the August killings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin or the Amish beard cutting incidents (verdict reached yesterday).
Is there perhaps a pattern in the above, somewhere?