Global Religious Recognition Report
DOCUMENTING RoRB CONDITIONS AROUND THE WORLD
The Global Religious Recognition Report is an annual report published to reflect the work of The Religious Recognition Project in its attempt to identify and measure the severity of the actions of nation states and territories when it comes to how belief systems, communities, denominations, institutions, and local belief-based organisations are recognised and registered. The Report provides an overview of each country along the metrics of state-religion relations, the mandatoriness of registration, registration system structure, registration policy, key tools of restriction imposed and whether "basic religious activities" are able to be freely conducted. These constitute the main determiners of a country's categorisation in the Spectrum of Religious Recognition (SRR). The Global Religious Recognition Report perceives religious freedom through the lens of how religions and beliefs are recognised and legally registered and seeks to reiterate parameters for what is and is not permissible action by the state in these matters in accordance with the latest version of RoRB standards.
Conditions for recognition of religion or belief (RoRB) continued to deteriorate around the world from June 2021 to June 2022. Authoritarian regimes bent on controlling religious activity maintained a foothold in Africa, Asia and parts of Central and South America. The liberties enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights are at serious threat by the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine. While in Afghanistan, the Taliban's reclamation of power after twenty years of being kept at bay likely signals a new generation of Afghan boys and girls who will not see their fundamental human rights upheld by the very institutions that are supposed to protect them.
The Religious Recognition Project considers the topic of how countries register religious groups and activities is one of the foremost issues in the modern world when it comes to respecting and protecting freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). The majority of countries and territories (58% or 137 out of 235 studied) either continue to make government registration mandatory for religious groups or provide no registration procedures at all.
An even greater majority of countries have established onerous registration procedures, the consequences of which, whether by intention or not, include the disenfranchisement of belief communities, the deregistration or denial of registered status for minority or "untraditional" religious groups, and the state's maintenance of control over the religious and philosophical lives of citizens. In essence, issues of registration remain a harbinger of worse violations of FoRB to come so if a focus is placed on dismantling these misused recognition and registration systems, it is possible that we could see a brighter future for FoRB conditions in countries worst effected by this issue.