Harassment of Jews worldwide rose in 2014, study finds

A new study has found that harassment of Jews worldwide continued to increase in 2014, the most recent year studied, even as government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion decreased modestly.

Pew Research Center’s annual study of 198 countries, released Thursday, also found an increase in religion-related terrorism, with 82 of the almost 200 countries studied experiencing religion-related terrorist activities in 2014, with activities in 60 of them leading to injuries or deaths. Casualties from religion-related terrorist activities have been rising in recent years, the study reported.

The study did not address with which religion the majority of the perpetrators of religion-related terrorism identified. However, all the examples cited were of acts perpetrated by Islamist groups and Muslim individuals.

More than half, or 58 percent, of the incidents of anti-religious hate crimes in the US in 2014 were motivated, in whole or in part, by anti-Jewish bias, the study reported, citing FBI statistics. Sixteen percent of such hate crimes were motivated by anti-Muslim bias.

The study found a “notable increase in the number of countries in which Jews and Hindus were harassed.” While Jews make up just 0.2 percent of the world’s population, they were harassed in 81 countries, up from 77 in 2013.


Anti-Semitic graffiti (illustrative photo: CC BY zeeweez, Flickr)
Illustrative photo of anti-Semitic graffiti (CC BY-zeeweez, Flickr)

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