In its latest report, Pew Research Center says there was an overall decline in religious restrictions and hostilities between 2013 and 2014, despite a continued rise in religion-related terrorism.

The US-based “fact tank” ranked 198 countries and territories in the seventh report of its kind, titled “Trends in Global Restrictions on Religion”.

Many of the countries at the top end of the Pew rankings for both religious restrictions and hostilities also feature regularly on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is hardest to be a Christian, including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. However, North Korea, No. 1 on the World Watch List for 14 years in a row, was not considered due to a reported lack of data.

“As in previous years, Christians and Muslims – who together make up more than half of the global population – faced harassment in the largest number of countries,” Pew reports in a summary of its major findings.

Religion-related terrorism reportedly increased in all regions in 2014, except sub-Saharan Africa, where it remained constant.

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