Study: In Malaysia, religious controls tighter than in Saudi Arabia, Brunei

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Malaysia was placed in the 'high' group on the Social Hostilities Index, which measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organisations or groups in society. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

Malaysia was placed in the ‘high’ group on the Social Hostilities Index, which measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organisations or groups in society. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa for the MMO.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Malaysia continues to strictly control religious practices, with an annual study grouping it together with other Muslim-majority countries practising “very high” restrictions, such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Turkey.

The study, published on Tuesday by US-based think tank Pew Research Centre, found that Malaysia’s religious controls worsened in 2015, scoring 8.0 out of 10 points on the Government Restriction Index (GRI) compared to 7.0 the previous year.

Topping the 2015 list was Egypt, China, Iran and Russia, followed by Uzbekistan and Malaysia which shared the same score.

A total of 198 countries were surveyed in the study.

Pew said government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015; the first time it has done so in three years.

“The increase in government restrictions was linked to a surge in government harassment and use of force against religious groups, two of the specific indicators used to measure government restrictions on religion in the analysis,” said the report, referring to the global situation. Read more