News & Politics

Pew: World-Wide Harassment of Jews at 8-Year High

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The latest report from Pew Research Center on the Trends in the Global Restriction of Religion reveals that the number of countries where Jews face harassment is growing.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

The report shows that “Christians and Muslims were harassed in the most countries in 2014” but the harassment of Jews has been steadily climbing over the last 8 years.

Harassment of Jews reaches eight-year high

As you can see from the chart above, the number of countries that harass Jews has consistently been increasing over the last year.  Pew defines harassment to include: “physical assaults; arrest and detentions; desecration of holy sites; and discrimination against religious groups in employment, education and housing. Harassment and intimidation also include things such as verbal assaults on members of one religious group by other groups or individual.”

The research further divides the harassment into two categories: harassment by government and harassment by individuals or groups in a society.

Some religious groups are more likely to be harassed by governments, while others are more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society (see table below). Jews, for example, were harassed by individuals or groups in society in many more countries (80) than they were by governments (31) in 2014. The number of countries with social harassment of Jews was up sharply from 2013.

Number of countries where religious groups were harassed, by type of harassment

Looking closer at the 8 year stretch, we can see that the number of countries with groups or individuals that harass Jews has almost doubled between 2007 (when it was at 46) and 2014 (when it was at 80). The number of countries with governments that harass Jews has almost tripled, from 11 in 2001 up to 31 in 2014.

There is a similar increase in the number of countries with groups that harass Christians. In 2007, there were 74 countries with groups of individuals that harassed Christians and that number jumped to 85 in 2014.