Alabama and Texas are the two states with the greatest religious freedom in the country. In the nonprofit Napa Legal Institute's Faith and Freedom Index, the Cotton State and the Lone Star State have the highest ratings, with 86% and 70%, respectively.
They are followed by Mississippi (67%), Kentucky (64%), Kansas (60%) and New Mexico (60%).
On the opposite side of the ranking, Nevada is the state that protects religious freedom the least in the country, at 18%, followed by Maryland (20%), Michigan (22%), Vermont (23%), Massachusetts (26%), Wisconsin (26%), Maine (27%), California (29%), Wyoming (29%) and Hawaii (29%). Coincidentally, seven of these ten states are governed by the Democratic Party.
Napa Legal Institute based its study on 14 factors of religious freedom, established laws on religion and religious nonprofits. Each of these factors has a score and, the sum of all of them is calculated out of 100. The organization awards a percentage based on how the state scored on each of the scales. At the end, these percentages are added up to get the final score.
Regarding those states that rate highest in terms of regulatory freedom over religion, Oregon leads the country at 90%, followed by Indiana at 88% and Montana at 87%. Up to one-fifth of all states have religious legislation scores below 50%.
The Catholic Church has been the target of vandalism and unstoppable persecution
Around the world, if there is one religion that is being attacked and persecuted, it is Christianity. It is estimated that around 360 million parishioners have experienced violence and discrimination from bigots and criminals.
There are Christians on every continent who are the targets of hate crimes. Civilians are not the only ones to carry out these crimes. Intolerance also comes from governmental institutions as in the case of Nicaragua. The dictatorship of Daniel Ortega went after the Catholic Church, even arresting Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez in August 2022. Colombia, Mexico and Cuba have also become hostile countries for believers.
North Korea persecutes Christians more that any other country in the world, followed by a long list of Islamic-majority countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Pakistan and Iran. In Canada, hate crimes against Christians soared by 260% in 2021.