“Intolerance toward Christians appears to be on the rise in the West. One very dangerous symptom of this upward trend is government officials and entities targeting Christian churches, organizations, and individuals for prosecution or punishment based on their religious beliefs.
It is difficult to monitor and quantify the extent of religious freedom violations occurring across the Western world. However, Family Research Council has set out to provide a better understanding of the current state of affairs by collecting stories of governments targeting Christians. We analyzed open-source documents, reports, and media outlets from 34 countries.
Our initial report, published in June 2022 and covering January 2020 through June 2022, identified 99 incidents across 14 countries. Since that time, we have continued to identify incidents of government intolerance toward Christians. As of the close of 2023, we have identified 168 incidents across 16 countries, all occurring over the past four years.
These stories are alarming and show the diverse ways Western governments—which ought to be the standard bearers for upholding freedom of religion and expression—are undermining the fundamental human right to religious freedom.
Some Christians in Western countries were arrested or fined for preaching or praying in public spaces. Others faced punishment for expressing their biblically informed beliefs in the public square. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some local governments imposed restrictions on houses of worship that were more stringent than those placed on secular institutions and businesses.
This report is far from exhaustive. Yet, it offers insights into the factors contributing to Western governments’ violations of Christians’ religious freedom and the common pressure points that often provoke such violations.”