The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights, Freedom, Tolerance and Equality in Asia
Statistical Comparisons

http://www.humantruth.info/asia_human_rights_tolerance_equality.html

By Vexen Crabtree 2022

#Asia #china #equality #hong_kong #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)1,2
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank1,2
1Hong Kong23.3
2Taiwan28.2
3Japan44.5
4S. Korea46.5
5Cyprus48.5
6Mongolia60.5
7Georgia65.5
8Armenia74.0
9Philippines78.3
10Kyrgyzstan81.4
...
49Pakistan147.0
50Brunei147.1
51Palestine163.0
Asia Avg102.2
World Avg89.0
q=51.

Asia is a huge and diverse continent, so much so, that's it's not necessarily sensible to attempt to compare countries across the continent as a whole. Nonetheless, it is still a major geographical bloc, and we should let those who do well shine and serve as examples. The best countries in Asia at protecting human rights, engendering tolerance and supporting equality, are Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan but the continent as a whole does poorly compared to the global average. The worst countries are Palestine, Brunei and Pakistan. Hong Kong shows us something about the statistics: They are often several years behind reality; HK now has been subject to increasing restrictions and is also less transparent to the outside world due to Chinese control.

Asia ... a region where the mean and median levels of performance are probably most charitably labeled poor.

"Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice" by Jack Donnelly (2013)3


1. Results by Country

#equality #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)1,2
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank1,2
1Hong Kong23.3
2Taiwan28.2
3Japan44.5
4S. Korea46.5
5Cyprus48.5
6Mongolia60.5
7Georgia65.5
8Armenia74.0
9Philippines78.3
10Kyrgyzstan81.4
11Israel83.5
12Turkey86.2
13Russia86.9
14Tajikistan88.0
15Azerbaijan88.6
16Nepal90.1
17Singapore93.5
18Sri Lanka95.0
19China96.4
20Vietnam96.6
21Thailand97.2
22Timor-Leste (E. Timor)98.6
23India98.9
24Kazakhstan102.4
25Cambodia102.5
26Lebanon102.8
27Jordan105.5
28Laos108.3
29Kuwait110.5
30Maldives110.7
31Bahrain112.9
32Indonesia113.6
33Bhutan114.4
34Bangladesh116.4
35Uzbekistan116.9
36Saudi Arabia117.6
37UAE119.8
38Oman121.5
39Qatar122.3
40Turkmenistan122.6
41Yemen128.5
42Iraq129.8
43Malaysia131.5
44Syria133.1
45Myanmar (Burma)133.9
46Afghanistan140.8
47Iran141.0
48N. Korea146.8
49Pakistan147.0
50Brunei147.1
51Palestine163.0
Asia Avg102.2
q=51.

The best countries in the world at ensuring human rights, fostering equality and promoting tolerance, are Sweden, Denmark and Norway1. These countries are displaying the best traits that humanity has to offer. The worst countries are The Solomon Islands, Palestine and Somalia1.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are statistics on commentary in Human Rights Watch reports, its nominal commitment to Human Rights, speed of uptake of HR treaties, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms, supporting press freedom, eliminating modern slavery, opposing gender inequality, the year from which women could participate in democracy, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice, LGBT equality and freethought. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Baltic States and Europe1, whereas the worst are Melanesia, Micronesia and Australasia1.

For more, see:

The table on the right shows the full results list for Asia.

Compare Asia to other regions of the world: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent.

2. Human Rights & Tolerance

2.1. Human Rights Watch Comments

#human_rights

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)4
Pos.Higher is better
Score4
1Cyprus5
2Japan3
3S. Korea0
4Nepal0
5Armenia-1
6Singapore-2
7Turkey-2
8Georgia-2
9Sri Lanka-2
10India-3
11Qatar-3
12Kuwait-4
13Thailand-4
14Vietnam-4
15Kyrgyzstan-4
16Philippines-4
17Lebanon-5
18Bahrain-5
19Azerbaijan-5
20Oman-5
21China-5
22Cambodia-5
23Tajikistan-5
24Israel-5
25Uzbekistan-6
26Bangladesh-6
27Jordan-6
28Iraq-6
29Kazakhstan-6
30UAE-6
31Yemen-7
32Indonesia-7
33Turkmenistan-8
34Russia-8
35Myanmar (Burma)-9
36Saudi Arabia-10
37Syria-10
38Afghanistan-10
39Pakistan-10
40Malaysia-10
41N. Korea-10
42Iran-10
Asia Avg-5.0
World Avg-1.9
q=42.

Human Rights Watch comments concentrate mostly on negative issues, however, they also make positive comments for those countries that engage in human rights defence around the world, or who make improvements at home. By adding up positive and negative comments (including double-points for negatives that involve large scales and crimes against humanity), the Social and Moral Index turns HRW commentary into quantified values. Some countries may be unfairly penalized because HRW have not examined them, and, some countries "get away" with abuses if they manage to hide it, or if it goes unnoticed - a negative point has been given for those countries in which HRW specifically state that access to investigators has been barred. The points were limited to a minimum of -10 because there are some points at which things are so bad, with abuses affecting so many, it is difficult to be more specific about the depths of the issues.

2.2. Nominal Commitment to HR

#human_rights

Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)5
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties5
1Azerbaijan21
2S. Korea20
3Cyprus20
4Georgia20
5Kazakhstan19
6Philippines18
7Kyrgyzstan18
8Turkmenistan17
9Timor-Leste (E. Timor)17
10Mongolia17
11Turkey17
12Armenia17
13Russia17
14Cambodia16
15Tajikistan16
16Yemen16
17Bangladesh15
18Maldives15
19Syria14
20Uzbekistan14
21China14
22Jordan14
23Japan14
24Nepal13
25Afghanistan13
26Sri Lanka13
27Kuwait12
28Israel12
29Lebanon12
30Bahrain12
31Thailand11
32Laos10
33Vietnam10
34India10
35Saudi Arabia10
36Qatar10
37Oman9
38Iran9
39Iraq9
40N. Korea7
41UAE7
42Indonesia7
43Pakistan6
44Brunei6
45Singapore5
46Myanmar (Burma)4
47Malaysia4
48Bhutan3
Asia Avg12.7
World Avg15.1
q=48.

There are many international agreements on human rights, and, many mechanisms by which countries can be brought to account for their actions. Together, these have been the biggest historical movement in the fight against oppression and inhumanity. Or, putting it another way: these are rejected mostly by those who wish to oppress inhumanely. None of them are perfect and many people object to various components and wordings, but, no-one has come up with, and enforced, better methods of controlling the occasional desires that states and peoples have of causing angst for other states and peoples in a violent, unjust or inhumane way. Points are awarded for the number of human rights agreements ratified by the country, plus the acceptance of the petition mechanisms for disputes. The maximum possible score in 2009 was 24.

2.3. HR Treaties Lag

#human_rights #international_law #micronesia #politics #small_islands

HR Treaties Lag (2019)6
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Yrs/Treaty6
1Philippines4.19
2Cyprus5.81
3Mongolia6.26
4Russia6.58
5Sri Lanka6.91
6Syria7.02
7Iraq7.55
8Jordan7.75
9Yemen8.88
10Japan9.16
11India9.18
12Bangladesh9.18
13China9.36
14Turkey9.48
15Vietnam9.72
16Nepal9.76
17S. Korea9.89
18Azerbaijan10.08
19Lebanon10.14
20Afghanistan10.23
21Kuwait10.36
22Laos10.53
23Cambodia10.56
24Iran10.81
25Israel10.97
26Armenia11.00
27Tajikistan11.08
28Qatar11.34
29Kazakhstan11.67
30Maldives11.85
31Thailand11.89
32Kyrgyzstan12.04
33Turkmenistan12.35
34Indonesia12.45
35Bahrain12.55
36Pakistan12.66
37Georgia12.77
38Bhutan13.01
39Oman13.46
40Uzbekistan13.53
41Saudi Arabia13.73
42Timor-Leste (E. Timor)13.73
43Malaysia14.35
44N. Korea14.52
45UAE14.81
46Myanmar (Burma)14.93
47Singapore15.02
48Brunei15.29
49Palestine17.21
Asia Avg10.97
World Avg10.02
q=49.

Human Rights (HR) Treaties Lag is a count of how long it took each country to sign each of 11 key HR treaties. From the date of the first signatory of each treaty, all other countries have one point added to their score for each day they delayed in signing. Results are presented as average time in years to sign each one. The lower a country's score, the more enthusiastically it has taken on international Human Rights Treaties - which are, of course, minimal standards of good governance. The slowest are the countries of Micronesia, Melanesia, Australasia and Polynesia all lagged by over 12 years per treaty. The best regions are The Americas, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

For more, see:

2.4. Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom

#freedom #politics

Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)7
Pos.Lower is better
Rank7
1Hong Kong1
2Taiwan26
3Japan32
4Cyprus33
5S. Korea35
6Singapore40
7Georgia43
8Mongolia47
9Israel52
10Armenia55
11Cambodia64
12Brunei66
13Indonesia72
14Turkey73
15Bhutan79
16Tajikistan83
17Nepal84
18India87
19Bahrain88
20Jordan91
21Kazakhstan96
22Kyrgyzstan98
23Philippines101
24Thailand107
25Lebanon108
26Laos109
27Kuwait111
28Russia115
29Malaysia115
30Qatar117
31UAE118
32Oman120
33Timor-Leste (E. Timor)120
34Vietnam128
35Azerbaijan128
36Sri Lanka130
37Bangladesh137
38China141
39Saudi Arabia144
40Pakistan146
41Myanmar (Burma)153
42Syria156
43Iran157
44Yemen158
Asia Avg94.6
World Avg79.7
q=44.

The Human Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute is...

... a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. It uses 79 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas: Rule of Law, Security and Safety, Movement, Religion, Association, Assembly, and Civil Society, Expression, Relationships, Size of Government, Legal System and Property Rights, Access to Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally, Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business. [...]

The highest levels of freedom are in Western Europe, Northern Europe, and North America (Canada and the United States. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. [...]

Countries in the top quartile of freedom enjoy a significant higher per capita income ($37,147) [compared with] the least-free quartile [at] $8,700). The HFI finds a strong correlation between human freedom and democracy.

"The Human Freedom Index" by The Fraser Institute (2016)8

2.5. Press Freedom

#democracy #freedom #mass_media #politics #UK

Press Freedom (2013)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Cyprus1383
2Taiwan2382
3S. Korea2448
4Japan2517
5Hong Kong2616
6Armenia2804
7Kuwait2828
8Bhutan2842
9Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2872
10Northern Cyprus2934
11Mongolia2993
12Georgia3009
13Lebanon3015
14Maldives3110
15Kyrgyzstan3220
16Qatar3286
17Israel3297
18UAE3349
19Nepal3461
20Brunei3545
21Tajikistan3571
22Afghanistan3736
23Jordan3847
24Thailand3860
25Indonesia4105
26India4122
27Oman4151
28Cambodia4181
29Bangladesh4201
30Malaysia4273
31Palestine4309
32Philippines4311
33Russia4342
34Singapore4343
35Iraq4467
36Myanmar (Burma)4471
37Turkey4656
38Azerbaijan4773
39Pakistan5131
40Kazakhstan5508
41Sri Lanka5659
42Saudi Arabia5688
43Uzbekistan6039
44Bahrain6275
45Laos6799
46Yemen6922
47Vietnam7178
48China7307
49Iran7340
50Syria7853
51Turkmenistan7914
52N. Korea8390
Asia Avg4378
World Avg3249
q=52.

The freedom to investigate, publish information, and have access to others' opinion is a fundamental part of today's information-driven world. Scores on the Press Freedom Index are calculated according to indicators including pluralism - the degree to which opinions are represented in the media, media independence of authorities, self-censorship, legislation, transparency and the infrastructure that supports news and information, and, the level of violence against journalists which includes lengths of imprisonments. The index "does not take direct account of the kind of political system but it is clear that democracies provide better protection for the freedom to produce and circulate accurate news and information than countries where human rights are flouted".

It must be noted that press freedom is not an indicator of press quality and the press itself can be abusive; the UK suffers in particular from a popular brand of nasty reporting that infuses several of its newspapers who are particularly prone to running destructive and often untrue campaigns against victims. The Press Freedom Index notes that "the index should in no way be taken as an indicator of the quality of the media in the countries concerned".

2.6. Slavery

#burundi #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #slavery

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Taiwan0.05
3Hong Kong0.14
4Kuwait0.15
5Qatar0.15
6Lebanon0.17
7UAE0.17
8Jordan0.18
9Bahrain0.19
10S. Korea0.19
11Saudi Arabia0.19
12Oman0.21
13Sri Lanka0.21
14China0.28
15Yemen0.31
16Singapore0.34
17Bangladesh0.37
18Israel0.39
19Kyrgyzstan0.41
20Kazakhstan0.42
21Cyprus0.42
22Georgia0.43
23Tajikistan0.45
24Vietnam0.45
25Azerbaijan0.45
26Indonesia0.47
27Iraq0.48
28Uzbekistan0.52
29Armenia0.53
30Russia0.55
31Nepal0.60
32India0.61
33Turkey0.65
34Malaysia0.69
35Syria0.73
36Philippines0.77
37Timor-Leste (E. Timor)0.77
38Thailand0.89
39Laos0.94
40Brunei1.09
41Myanmar (Burma)1.10
42Turkmenistan1.12
43Mongolia1.23
44Iran1.62
45Cambodia1.68
46Pakistan1.68
47Afghanistan2.22
48N. Korea10.46
Asia Avg0.79
World Avg0.65
q=48.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory11. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends12. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life13. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves14.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery15. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity16. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.17. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia18) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery19.

For more, see:

See:

3. Gender Equality

3.1. Gender Inequality

#gender #gender_equality #human_rights #misogyny #women

Gender Inequality (2015)20
Pos.Lower is better20
1S. Korea0.07
2Singapore0.07
3Israel0.10
4Japan0.12
5Cyprus0.12
6China0.16
7Kazakhstan0.20
8UAE0.23
9Bahrain0.23
10Saudi Arabia0.26
11Russia0.27
12Mongolia0.28
13Oman0.28
14Uzbekistan0.29
15Malaysia0.29
16Armenia0.29
17Maldives0.31
18Tajikistan0.32
19Azerbaijan0.33
20Turkey0.33
21Kuwait0.33
22Vietnam0.34
23Georgia0.36
24Thailand0.37
25Myanmar (Burma)0.37
26Lebanon0.38
27Sri Lanka0.39
28Kyrgyzstan0.39
29Philippines0.44
30Indonesia0.47
31Laos0.47
32Bhutan0.48
33Jordan0.48
34Cambodia0.48
35Nepal0.50
36Iran0.51
37Bangladesh0.52
38Iraq0.53
39India0.53
40Qatar0.54
41Pakistan0.55
42Syria0.55
43Afghanistan0.67
44Yemen0.77
Asia Avg0.36
World Avg0.36
q=44.

The UN Human Development Reports include statistics on gender equality which take into account things like maternal mortality, access to political power (seats in parliament) and differences between male and female education rates. Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

3.2. Year Women Can Vote

#christianity #gender_equality #human_rights #politics #women

Year Women Can Vote
Pos.Lower is better
Year
1Russia1917
2Kyrgyzstan1918
3Azerbaijan1921
4Armenia1921
5Georgia1921
6Mongolia1924
7Tajikistan1924
8Turkmenistan1927
9Sri Lanka1931
10Maldives1932
11Thailand1932
12Turkey1934
13Myanmar (Burma)1935
14Philippines1937
15Uzbekistan1938
16Japan1945
17Indonesia1945
18Vietnam1946
19N. Korea1946
20Pakistan1947
21Singapore1947
22S. Korea1948
23Israel1948
24China1949
25India1950
26Nepal1951
27Lebanon1952
28Bhutan1953
29Syria1953
30Cambodia1955
31Malaysia1957
32Laos1958
33Cyprus1960
34Iran1963
35Afghanistan1963
36Yemen1970
37Bangladesh1972
38Bahrain1973
39Jordan1974
40Iraq1980
41Kazakhstan1993
42Oman1994
43Qatar2003
44Kuwait2005
45Saudi Arabia0
Asia Avg1907
World Avg1930
q=45.

Women now have equal rights in the vast majority of countries across the world. Although academic literature oftens talks of when a country "grants women the right to vote", this enforces a backwards way of thinking. Women always had the right to vote, however, they were frequently denied that right. The opposition to women's ability to vote in equality with man was most consistently and powerfully opposed by the Catholic Church, other Christian organisations, Islamic authorities and some other religious and secular traditionalists.

4. Prejudice

4.1. Anti-Semite Opinions

#antisemitism #christianity #germany #indonesia #israel #jordan #judaism #laos #morocco #netherlands #pakistan #philippines #religion #religious_violence #saudi_arabia #spain #sweden #turkey #UK #vietnam

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)21
Pos.Lower is better
%21
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Vietnam6
4Thailand13
5Singapore16
6China20
7India20
8Japan23
9Mongolia26
10Russia30
11Georgia32
12Kazakhstan32
13Bangladesh32
14Azerbaijan37
15Indonesia48
16S. Korea53
17Iran56
18Armenia58
19Malaysia61
20Turkey69
21Saudi Arabia74
22Oman76
23Lebanon78
24Qatar80
25UAE80
26Jordan81
27Bahrain81
28Kuwait82
29Yemen88
30Iraq92
Asia Avg48.2
World Avg36.8
q=30.

Anti-Semitism is the world given to irrational racism against Jews. It is not the same as anti-Judaism (involving arguments against the religion) nor the same as anti-Zionism (arguments against Israel). In history, influential Christian theologians concocted the arguments against Jews that led, very early on, to widespread Christian action against Jews22,23,24,25. As Christianity rose to power in the West and presided over the Dark Ages, there were widespread violent outbursts against Jews of the most persistent and horrible kind. The Crusades were frequently aimed at them and the feared Spanish Inquisition paid Jews particular attention. The horror of the holocaust instigated by German Nazis in the 1940s was followed (finally) by the era of European human rights and a movement against racism in general.

The places that are the least anti-Semitical are a few countries of south-east Asia (Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam) and some of the secular liberal democracies of Europe (Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK). The worst countries for antisemitism are Islamic states of the Middle East26, which are undergoing their own Dark Age. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Indonesia, Pakistan and Turkey see the most oppressive and violent actions towards Jews27,28. Jews in Muslim countries face a host of restrictions and "ceaseless humiliation and regular pogroms"29. In 2004 the European Union Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia reported on violent anti-Jew crimes in the EU and found that that largest group of perpetrators were young Muslim males30.

For more, see:

See:

4.2. LGBT Equality

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)31
Pos.Higher is better
Score31
1Israel48
2Cyprus40
3Japan35
4Georgia35
5Thailand34
6S. Korea30
7Timor-Leste (E. Timor)30
8Nepal25
9Turkey25
10Mongolia25
11Vietnam25
12Taiwan25
13Philippines20
14Armenia20
15Cambodia15
16Azerbaijan15
17Laos15
18Kyrgyzstan15
19Jordan12
20China12
21Tajikistan11
22N. Korea8
23Kazakhstan8
24Indonesia1
25Russia1
26Bahrain-2
27India-10
28Sri Lanka-10
29Myanmar (Burma)-10
30Brunei-14
31Singapore-15
32Bangladesh-17
33Malaysia-19
34Iran-19
35Afghanistan-19
36Maldives-19
37Bhutan-20
38Oman-22
39Yemen-22
40Turkmenistan-24
41Lebanon-24
42Pakistan-26
43Iraq-29
44Uzbekistan-30
45UAE-34
46Kuwait-37
47Qatar-54
48Saudi Arabia-72
49Syria-84
Asia Avg-02.1
World Avg12.6
q=49.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence32. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws33. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries32. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

For more, see:

See:

4.3. Freedom of Thought

#europe #freedom_of_belief #freethought #human_rights #netherlands #religion #religious_tolerance #secularism #the_enlightenment

Freedom of Thought (2021)34
Pos.Lower is better34
1Taiwan1.0
2Mongolia1.7
3S. Korea1.8
4Japan2.3
5Bhutan2.5
6Timor-Leste (E. Timor)2.5
7Georgia2.8
8Kyrgyzstan2.8
9Nepal2.8
10Cambodia3.0
11Laos3.0
12Cyprus3.0
13India3.0
14Tajikistan3.3
15Singapore3.3
16Philippines3.3
17Armenia3.3
18Turkmenistan3.5
19Turkey3.5
20Kazakhstan3.5
21Uzbekistan3.7
22Thailand3.8
23Myanmar (Burma)3.8
24Sri Lanka3.8
25Palestine3.8
26Russia3.8
27Oman3.8
28Israel3.8
29Lebanon4.0
30Azerbaijan4.0
31Vietnam4.0
32Iraq4.3
33Qatar4.5
34Malaysia4.5
35Bangladesh4.5
36Syria4.5
37Bahrain4.5
38Kuwait4.5
39China4.5
40Indonesia4.5
41Jordan4.5
42Maldives4.8
43Brunei4.8
44Iran4.8
45Yemen4.8
46UAE4.8
47Saudi Arabia5.0
48Pakistan5.0
49Afghanistan5.0
50N. Korea5.0
Asia Avg3.7
World Avg3.0
q=50.

Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Belief are upheld in Article 18 the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights35. It affirms that it is a basic human right that all people are free to change their beliefs and religion as they wish36. No countries voted against this (although eight abstained). This right was first recognized clearly in the policies of religious toleration of the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe in the post-enlightenment era37 of the 19th century. In democratic countries, freedom of belief and religion is now taken for granted38. In 2016 a study found that over 180 countries in the world had come to guarantee freedom of religion and belief39. The best countries at doing so are Taiwan, Belgium and The Netherlands34,40 and the worst: Afghanistan, N. Korea, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia34,41.

Long-term studies have shown that religious violence and persecution both decrease in cultures where religious freedom is guaranteed42. Despite this, there still are many who are strongly against freedom of belief36, including entire cultures and many individual communities of religious believers. Their alternative is that you are not free to believe what you want and they often state that you cannot change religion without being punished (often including the death penalty): this is bemoaned as one of the most dangerous elements of religion43 and "the denial of religious freedoms is inevitably intertwined with the denial of other freedoms"44 and the solution is, everywhere, to allow religious freedom and the freedom of belief.

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See: