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ICC Note: According to Pew Research Center’s latest study, twenty-seven countries officially accept Islam as their state religion followed by the thirteen countries who officially accept Christianity. Countries that do not have an official state religion prefer Christianity 70 percent of the time. The majority of the world, or 106 countries, hold a relatively neutral position where they have no official or preferred religion, the United States being one of them. In addition, countries where Christians face the most severe persecution are mostly dominated by nations with Islamic government. Of the non-religious nations that are actively hostile toward religious institutions, China, North Korea, and Vietnam make the list. In order to reduce persecution, Christians in the West need to advocate on behalf of those who do not have the same religious freedom privileges we do.

10/04/2017 (Christian Post) – An extensive study of the nations of the world and their individual relationships with religion has found that Islam is the world’s most common state religion, and listed the 10 non-religious nations that are hostile toward Christianity and other religious institutions.

Pew Research Center released on Tuesday a study of 199 countries and self-administering territories, based on data for the year ending Dec. 31, 2015. It found that the majority of the world’s countries do not have an official or a preferred religion.

Overall, 22 percent of the total, or 43 nations, had a state religion, with 27, or 63 percent of those following Islam.

Thirteen states had Christianity as their official religion, along with two for Buddhism, and one for Judaism.

“Nine of these countries are in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Monaco and Iceland,” the study said of Christian states.

“Two countries in the Americas — Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic — and one in the Asia-Pacific region — Tuvalu — have Christianity as their official state religion. Only one country in sub-Saharan Africa is officially Christian: Zambia.”

Forty countries had no state religion, but did have a preferred religion, and Christianity accounted for 28 nations, or 70 percent of those cases.

Pew designated a listing for non-religious nations which it said are actively hostile toward religious institutions, featured in alphabetical order: Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Pew noted that China’s Communist Party deploys a “heavily restrictive or even hostile state relationship with religion, strictly regulating and monitoring religious institutions.”

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