2021 Religious Freedom in the World Report due out April 20

ON APRIL 20, AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED will presents the 15th edition of the “Religious Freedom in the World Report (RFR).” It is the only such study conducted by a Catholic organization and analyzes the observance and respect of this human right in all 196 countries of the world, coverting all religions. It is also the only report of its kind that is available in six languages.

The “Religious Freedom in the World Report” has been published every two years since 1999.  The official presentation of the 2021 edition will take place in Rome along with Paris and Madrid. Events will also be held in Sao Paolo, London, Berlin, Toronto, and Manila, among other launch events.

With the report, Aid to the Church in Need wants focuses on religious freedom as a fundamental right in accordance with Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It warns of serious setbacks in this regard in many countries of the world. Religion is a trigger for discrimination, exclusion, and persecution for millions of people of all faiths around the world. ACN hopes this report will raise awareness of the need to protect and defend religious freedom . In those countries where religious freedom is guaranteed the foundations are laid for a truly human coexistence, as called for by Pope Francis.

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. Another innovation of the new 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 fragile.

A total of 30 authors, independent experts and research teams at universities and study centers from different continents have analyzed every country in the world in the past two years, according to objective criteria and a precise methodology.

The report’s target audience are journalists, academics, scientists, politicians—believers and non-believers alike—and the report will emphasize how important the fundamental right religious freedom is for the respect of human dignity and the successful development of societies.


—Raquel Martin