India was ranked fourth in the world in 2015 , closely following the strife-ridden countries of Syria, Nigeria and Iraq as having the highest social hostilities involving religion, according to research by Pew.
Pew Research Centre, an independent non-partisan research organisation has been publishing its annual Global Restrictions on Religion Report since 2009. In 2015, it ranked 198 countries, among who India’s ranking was fourth.
Social Hostilities Index
India ranked ‘very high’ on the index with an index value of 8.7 out of 10, 10 being the worst. Syria ranked at 9.2, Nigeria at 9.1 and Iraq at 8.9.
The Social Hostilities Index looks at 13 indicators including crimes motivated by religious hatred, mob violence related to religion, communal violence, religion-related terrorist groups, using force to prevent religious groups from operating, the harassment of women for ‘violating’ religious dress codes and violence over conversion.
Katayoun Kishi, the study’s lead researcher,in an email interview said that hostilities between Hindus and Muslims factored into the India’s poor ranking. “One of the indicators in the Social Hostilities Index looks at whether incidents of violence occurred as a result of tensions between religious groups. In India in 2015, there were instances of attacks by Hindus on Muslims due to alleged cow slaughter, rioting after clashes between Hindus and Muslims, and mob violence involving the two groups,” she said.