On 29th April, Aid to the Church in Need (Malta) will present the 15th edition of the “Religious Freedom in the World Report” (RFR). It is the only study conducted by a Catholic institution which analyses the observance and respect of this human right in all countries of the world (196) and covers all religions. It is also the only one available in six languages.

Due to the corona virus situation, the RFR Conference will be held virtually on the 29th of April 2021 at 5:30pm. Details on how to participate will be provided in the coming weeks.

The “Religious Freedom in the World Report” has been published since 1999 and presented in the 23 offices of the ACN Foundation around the world every two years.

With the report, Aid to the Church in Need wants to underline religious freedom as a fundamental right (Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and warn 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. That is why ACN wants this report to raise awareness of the need to protect and defend them. In those countries where religious freedom is guaranteed the foundations are laid for a truly human coexistence, as Pope Francis calls for.

What is new?

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 and which provide relevant findings on the fulfilment or violation of this fundamental right.

Another innovation of the 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 threatening.

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

The report is addressed to journalists, academics, scientists, politicians – believers and non-believers alike – to emphasise how important it is for human dignity and the successful development of societies to be able to exercise this fundamental right.