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Report warns of global rise of religious ‘hyper-extremism’


NEW YORK (Nov. 15, 2016)—Religious Fundamentalism—more lethal than ever before—is unleashing death, destruction, displacement and instability at unprecedented levels, according to a report out today.

The Religious Freedom in the World 2016 report, produced by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, warns of the global impact of “a new phenomenon of religiously-motivated violence—‘Islamist hyper-extremism.’” The report points to the Islamic State (ISIS) as the prime example.

Key characteristics of “Islamist hyper-extremism” include systematic attempts to drive out all dissenting groups—including moderates, unprecedented levels of cruelty, global reach and the effective use of social media, often used to glamorize violence.

Compiled every two years, the report, which assesses the situation regarding religious freedom in each of the world’s 196 countries, charges: “In parts of the Middle East, including Iraq and Syria, this hyper-extremism is eliminating all forms of religious diversity and is threatening to do so in parts of African and the Asian sub-continent.

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