NEARLY 2,000 years ago today, according to the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth was crucified for “subverting” the people of Judea. Even after two millennia, humanity has still not managed to eliminate religious persecution. In fact, one index published on April 11th suggests that freedom of worship is actually declining.
据《圣经》描述，大约两千年前的今天，拿撒勒的耶稣（Jesus of Nazareth）因“颠覆”犹地亚人民而被钉死在十字架上。即使是在两千年后，人类仍然没有设法消除宗教迫害。事实上，4月11日发布的一项指数表明，宗教自由在走下坡路。
Pew, a think-tank, evaluates obstacles to the observance of religion in two dimensions, based on the text of countries’ constitutions and on reports by governments and human-rights groups. It measures laws and policies that limit religious beliefs in a government-restrictions index, and violence and other intimidation from the public at large in a social-hostilities index. The overall level of restrictions on religion is surprisingly elevated: the study finds it “high” or “very high” in fully one-quarter of the 198 nations assessed. Moreover, the situation appears to be getting worse: both the government and social indicators show that religious freedom deteriorated in 2015—the latest year for which data are available—for the first time in three years.
State restrictions on freedom of worship are concentrated in the Middle East and North Africa, the origin of the Abrahamic faiths. In that region, 95% of governments engage in harassment and the use of force against religious groups, with Egypt’s policies the sternest of all. However, European countries, including some of the continent’s secular liberal democracies, can be intolerant as well. Pew found more than 200 cases of government constraints on religious groups not only in Russia, which forbids some forms of public religious practice, but also in France, which maintains a ban on face-coverings in public spaces.
国家对宗教自由的限制主要集中于三大宗教犹太教、基督教和伊斯兰教（the Abrahamic faiths）的发源地中东和北非地区。在该地区，95%的政府反复袭击宗教组织，并利用武力与其抗衡，其中，埃及的政策作为严厉。然而，欧州国家也很偏狭，包括欧洲大陆一些反对宗教教义的自由民主国家在内。佩尤智库发现，超过200起政府限制宗教组织的案例发生在俄罗斯和法国，前者禁止某些公共场合宗教行为的形式，后者禁止穆斯林妇女在公共场合佩戴面纱。
The increase in the social-hostilities index largely reflects rises in mob violence. In India the government counted 561 incidents of religiously motivated physical conflict during the first ten months of 2015, which resulted in 90 deaths and 1,688 injuries. Although such incidents are far less frequent in Europe, they are becoming more prevalent. Pew listed 17 mob-violence incidents on the continent in 2015, up from nine the year before. That figure is sadly likely to have risen again last year.