- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2015

A new report from the Pew Research Center found that while overall social harassment toward religious groups decreased worldwide in 2013, anti-Semitic harassment reached a seven-year high.

Jews were harassed by social groups or government in 77 countries in 2013, the highest number since Pew began the annual measure in 2007.

According to the study, Jews are much more likely to be targets by individuals or groups rather than by governments.

“In Europe, for example, Jews were harassed by individuals or social groups in 34 of the region’s 45 countries (76%),” the report said.

The latest figures reflect a growing trend of anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, including the murder of four Jewish victims at a kosher deli in Paris shortly after the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last month.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged French Jews not to leave the country following the desecration of 300 Jewish graves and another shooting at a Danish synagogue. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on European Jews to emigrate to Israel.

Christians and Muslims — who together make up more than half of the global population — faced harassment in the largest number of countries, the Pew study said.

“Christians were harassed, either by government or social groups, in 102 of the 198 countries included in the study (52%), while Muslims were harassed in 99 countries (50%),” according to the report.

The highest overall levels of religious restrictions were found in Burma, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Russia where both government and society impose limits on religious beliefs and practices, the report said.

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