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The Price of Freedom Denied


  • 32 b/w illus. 29 tables
  • Page extent: 272 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.39 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521146838)

The Price of Freedom Denied shows that, contrary to popular opinion, ensuring religious freedom for all reduces violent religious persecution and conflict. Others have suggested that restrictions on religion are necessary to maintain order or preserve a peaceful religious homogeneity. Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke show that restricting religious freedoms is associated with higher levels of violent persecution. Relying on a new source of coded data for nearly 200 countries and case studies of six countries, the book offers a global profile of religious freedom and religious persecution. Grim and Finke report that persecution is evident in all regions and is standard fare for many. They also find that religious freedoms are routinely denied and that government and the society at large serve to restrict these freedoms. They conclude that the price of freedom denied is high indeed.

• Offers a global profile of religious freedom and persecution, including information on nearly 200 countries and selected case studies • Explains variation in religious persecution across countries and religious traditions, offering an explanation of why persecution tends to be higher among some populations • Demonstrates and documents how religious freedoms are denied by the government and the society at large • Argues that religious freedoms serve to defuse the potential conflict and reduce the level of violent religious persecution


1. Religious persecution: pervasive and pernicious; 2. Religious freedom: broken promises; 3. Persecution: the price of freedoms denied; 4. A closer look: Japan, Brazil and Nigeria; 5. A closer look: China, India and Iran; 6. What about Muslim-majority countries?; 7. Do religious freedoms really matter?; Appendix. Testing the competing arguments.

Prize Winner

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2011 - Winner


'… provides a data driven but accessible counter argument to Samuel P. Huntington's 'clash of civilisations' theory … Throughout … Grim and Finke deal with the most politically and culturally sensitive areas of study with delicacy but also with a directness that is refreshing, most notably in their in-depth exploration of the high rates of religious persecution present in many Muslim-majority societies. By identifying the elephant in the corner that is so often unacknowledged in discussions of conflict - the very nature of Islam itself - the authors provide insight into one of the most politically delicate areas of social scientific study … [brings] together a decade's worth of research … a challenge to those who seek to downplay the role of religion in modern conflict and violence … an invaluable evidence base for policy makers in all countries seeking ways to reduce persecution.' Rachel Dearlove, LSE Politics blog (

'The Price of Freedom Denied sets the standard for further study of religious persecution and the value of religious freedom. It should be read by anyone interested in those issues or their implications for democracy, peace, and economic prosperity.' Thomas F. Farr, Journal of Church and State

'[A] dense and thought-provoking book … with the dispassion and technical sophistication of a NASA camera photographing Earth.' Jonathan Benthall, The Times Literary Supplement

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