Despite the international controversies surrounding religious restrictions and freedoms, the topic has only recently received substantial research attention. Drawing on this new body of research, and multiple research projects in progress, this address explores both the origins and consequences of religious restrictions in the global arena. To understand the motives for restrictions, I propose hypotheses in three areas: the relationship or lack of relationship between institutional religion and the state, the willingness and capacity of the state to ensure freedoms, and the larger social and cultural pressures restricting freedoms, including social and political movements targeting minority religions. Turning to the consequences of religious restrictions, I explore how and why restrictions alter the religious economy (i.e., formation, supply, and operation of religions) and are associated with higher levels of religious persecution, religious violence, and intrastate conflict in general. Finally, I review additional areas where research is needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Religious studies
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)