Here you can find advice, tools for context analysis and help to find reliable information about the state of FORB in your country.
Whether you are here for your own learning, you work with freedom of religion or belief (FORB) issues or are planning to lead a training on FORB, understanding the state of FORB in your country is key. Reliable information and analysis is an essential foundation for promoting the right.
Try to find national sources of information, for example from independent NGOs, and complement this with information from reliable international sources.
When you look for information, remember that it is impossible to understand the situation of one group without understanding their wider context, including how other belief groups are affected. There are no countries where the rights of only one belief group are violated. In all cases multiple groups are affected, in different ways and to different degrees. This doesn’t mean that you should disregard reliable sources that focus on one group – but that you should read more than one source about more than one group.
When reading information, be aware of the risk of propaganda and bias. Some governments obstruct human rights monitoring and reporting, using disinformation, intimidation and coercion. Information from national governments about their own country situation may therefore be unreliable. Sometimes information provided by foreign governments or religious and civil society actors can also be biased or misleading. Sometimes there is intentional political bias. Often a misleading impression of the situation as a whole is the unintentional result of focusing on one group alone.
Use a variety of sources and think critically!
Human rights are indivisible, inter-related and inter-dependent – rather like a woven cloth. Alone each thread will break easily, woven together they are strong. In the same way, if we are to protect FORB we need to protect other rights and if we are to protect other rights we need to protect FORB.
Restrictions on FORB are often part of a wider pattern of shrinking space for civil society – with restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of religion or belief affecting all kinds of actors.
When conducting a FORB context analysis always try to find information about how women and men are differently affected by restrictions and violations of the right. Learn more about this with our digital course ‘FORB and gender – enemies or allies’.
International sources focusing on many countries
Browse through the following information sources to find the sections relating to your country.
FORB in every country worldwide
U.S. State Department – Annual report on the state of FORB in almost every country in the world.
FORB in a wide range of countries
Country visit reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief.
FORB in countries with serious violations
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) – Annual report on FORB in countries with serious violations of the right.
Minority rights (including FORB) worldwide
Minority Rights Group International has detailed information by country about minorities and indigenous communities.
FORB in Central Asia, the South Caucasus, Russia, Belarus and Crimea, with occasional analyses on Turkey
Forum 18 provides original monitoring and analysis of FORB violations against people of all faiths and none.
Religious Freedom Restrictions
Pew Research Centre – Data on government restrictions and social hostilities
related to religion around the world.
Hate Crime Reporting
Reports on hate crimes, including those based on religious identities in the OSCE region (Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia, North America).
Religious Freedom in the World Report
Aid to the Church in Need’s 2021 report on religious freedom in the world.
Reports focusing on particular belief groups
The following sources provide information about particular groups or countries. We have chosen to limit our selection to organisations carrying out original research and analysis, rather than those who report the research of others.
Reports on anti-semitism
Anti-Semitism Worldwide – Annual reports from the Kantor Center.
Islamophobia report from the UN Special Rapporteur on FORB
Issued 2021. Titled “Countering Islamophobia/Anti-Muslim Hatred to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief”.
The Freedom of Thought Report
Annual report from Humanists International.
Persecution of Ahmadis Worldwide
Report to the UN from the International Human Rights Committee, an NGO working for Ahmadi rights.
The Global Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Issue report from USCIRF.
World Watch List
Annual report on persecution of Christians from Open Doors.
Resources on democracy and human rights broadly
The following resources include FORB aspects to varying degrees, but help to provide a broad picture of the state of human rights – an important backdrop to any FORB context analysis.
Interactive map illustrating the state of democracy
IDEA monitor the state of democracy, including freedom of religion or belief in all countries of the world. Click on your country on the map!
Restrictions on ‘space’ for civil society action
CIVICUS track restrictions concerning for example the freedoms of expression, assembly and association – all of which are closely related to FORB.
Ratings and reports on people’s access to political rights and civil liberties in 210 countries and territories. Click on your country to find data!
Annual review of human rights around the globe
Human Rights Watch produce an annual report on the state of human rights in
over 100 countries.
Amnesty International reports
Amnesty International country profiles include freedom of religion or belief to
Search the FORB Library
Search for the name of your country in the FORB Library to look for reports about the state of FORB in your country specifically.