A report published by Aid to the Church in Need, a Pontifical Foundation of the Catholic Church.

IN MEMORIAM Berthold Pelster, member of the Editorial Committee († 14th February 2021)

The 2021 report is the 15th edition of Aid to the Church in Need’s Religious Freedom in the World Report, produced every two years.

It is published in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

Editor and Managing Editor: Marcela Szymanski

Editorial Committee Chairman and Senior Editor: Mark von Riedemann

Assistants to the Editor: Irmina Nockiewicz, Ellen Fantini

Editorial Assistants: Pierre Rossi, Ravi Jay Gunnoo, Bartholomew Townsend

Production Management (print and webpages): Irmina Nockiewicz

Editorial Committee: Carla Diez de Rivera, John Pontifex, Berthold Pelster (†), Maria Lozano (non-voting member), Irmina Nockiewicz (non-voting member)

Regional Editors include: Miriam Diez-Bosch, Paulina Eyzaguirre, Ellen Fantini, Oliver Maksan, Oscar Mateos.

Authors and contributors include: Steven Axisa, Heiner Bielefeldt, Miriam Diez-Bosch, Paulina Eyzaguirre, Ivan Cigic, Andrew Bennett, Willy Fautré, Conn McNally, Ellen Fantini, Anna Lichtenberg, Maria Lozano, Oliver Maksan, Oscar Mateos, Piotr Mazurkiewicz, Johannes Mehlitz, John Newton, Irmina Nockiewicz, Marta Petrosillo, F. Borba Ribeiro Neto, José Carlos Rodriguez Soto, Benedict Rogers, Chiara Verna, Mark von Riedemann

Translations: Ravi Jay Gunnoo, Philippe Joas, Mercedes Lucini, Shahid Mobeen, Pierre Rossi, Sofia Sondergaard, Team Wort-Wahl

Cover design: Joao Sotomayor

Designers: Grafos Design, Michał Banach

Copyright and citations: Please consult the credits for each photograph. Unless otherwise specified, all material may be cited without seeking further permission, with the credit:

“Religious Freedom in the World Report 2021”, Aid to the Church in Need International, April 2021.

Media requests: Contact your ACN national office, or Maria Lozano at ACN International,


Every effort has been made to ensure that the highest possible editorial standards are met in the production of the Religious Freedom in the World Report. However, in presenting the report, Aid to the Church in Need acknowledges that it could not independently verify all information contained therein without exception. The report draws on multiple sources and presents case studies with the objective of shedding light on the nature and severity of religious freedom violations.

Care should be taken not to attach undue significance to instances selected for consideration; these are offered as examples illustrating the nature of the situation regarding religious freedom. In many cases, other examples would equally suffice. Views or opinions expressed are those of individuals involved in compiling the various documents contained in the report and are not necessarily those of Aid to the Church in Need.

Unless otherwise specified, all country data, religious demography and GDP per capita (PPP adjusted, to allow for comparison between countries) come from Todd M. Johnson and Brian J. Grim, eds. World Religion Database (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2020) The GINI index figures are the latest available at

A GINI indicator measures inequality of income and consumption distribution: a GINI index of 0 represents perfect equality, while an index of 100 implies perfect inequality.