Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Unfree Exercise of Religion
A World Survey of Discrimination against Religious Minorities


  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107589728

£ 19.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Religious discrimination is the norm in many countries around the world, and the rate is rising. Nearly every country which discriminates does so unequally, singling out some religious minorities for more discrimination than others. Religious tradition does not explain this complex issue. For example, Muslim majority states include both the most discriminatory and tolerant states in the world, as is also the case with Christian majority states. Religious ideologies, nationalism, regime, culture, security issues, and political issues are also all part of the answer. In The Unfree Exercise of Religion Jonathan Fox examines how we understand concepts like religious discrimination and religious freedom, and why countries discriminate. He makes a study of religious discrimination against 597 religious minorities in 177 countries between 1990 and 2008. While 29 types of discrimination are discussed in this book, the most common include restrictions in places of worship, proselytizing, and religious education.

    • Examines how we think about concepts like religious discrimination and religious freedom, which are often used but rarely examined and defined, helping readers think more systematically about these topics
    • Discusses evidence that religious discrimination is the norm rather than the exception and is on the rise, even in democracies
    • Seeks to help undermine incorrect stereotypes and assumptions on the topic of religious discrimination
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The Unfree Exercise of Religion, Jonathan Fox's latest global analysis of the status of religions, solidifies his standing as the leading empirical scholar on the subject. He shows that discrimination against the practices and institutions of 597 minority religions is ubiquitous. More than six out of ten minorities in this new study faced discrimination on one and usually many of 29 indicators. Causal analyses show that no one or handful of conditions can explain why. Whether the state has an official religion, and whether the minority is seen as a security threat, are relevant but so are many other factors. It may be unsurprising that discrimination against religious minorities of every major sect, in every world region, has increased since 1990. But who would have thought that the prosperous Christian democracies would be more discriminatory than their democratic counterparts in the Third World? Could we have anticipated that, globally, Christian religious minorities are most likely to be subject to discrimination and Muslim minorities least so? Unfree Exercise is a remarkable data-based study that spans the entire range of questions, both descriptive and casual, about the nature, causes, and impact of discrimination against religious minorities in 177 countries.' Ted Robert Gurr, University of Maryland, College Park

    'Political scientist Jonathan Fox brings his characteristic blend of analytic acuity, encyclopedic coverage, and moral concern to the phenomenon of religious discrimination. Drawing from the extraordinary dataset that he has constructed over several years, he brings striking results to bear: all across the globe, religious discrimination is widespread and is getting worse.' Daniel Philpott, Center for Civil and Human Rights

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107589728
    • length: 235 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • contains: 36 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. What is religious discrimination?
    3. The causes and consequences of religious discrimination
    4. Christian majority states 1 - Western democracies and the former Soviet bloc
    5. Christian majority countries 2 - the Third World
    6. Muslim majority countries
    7. Other countries
    8. Conclusions.

  • Author

    Jonathan Fox, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
    Jonathan Fox is a Professor of Political Studies at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel and Director of the Religion and State project.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.