The provisional agreement between the Vatican and Beijing gives no assurance the government will curb its recent crackdown on religious practice, which includes unprecedented control over Muslims and Buddhists.
Several watchdog groups say that religious freedom around the world is taking a beating, and the Catholic pastoral group Aid to the Church in Need says the persecution of Christians is “today worse than at any time in history.”
Religion is still more vibrant in the U.S. than in Europe—but there are striking exceptions to the cliché
U.S. religious belief has been more resilient than in other modernized, affluent countries. Still, weekly churchgoing pales compared with Poland.
The Washington-based Pew Research Center issued a report on religious freedom around the world last week that found that Europe registered the sharpest increase in “social hostilities concerning religion” in 2016, the last year for which it has full statistics.