Country Profiles


Brazil
is the largest Roman Catholic nation in the world, but is home to growing numbers of Pentecostal Christians and practitioners of African-derived religions.

 

France's unique form of secularism, known as laïcité, has historical roots in the French revolution, and values the absence of religious symbols in public spaces. This has led to tensions with minority religious groups, which also relates to the history of French colonialism and challenges around economic and cultural integration.

 

It's not surprising that Nigeria's 170 million people, 270 ethnic groups and over 370 languages, show astonishing diversity. This is true of its religious traditions, which include Islam, Christianity, and indigenous religions. Conflict, though often framed in religious terms, is more often a result of unequal distribution of resources than it is about belief.

Qatar is a small and wealthy nation in the Arab Gulf, currently experiencing phenomenal growth and modernization on account of its large natural gas deposits. With growth, residents seek to maintain their traditions while remaining open to outsiders.

 

Syria is in the midst of a protracted and bloody civil war that began in the wake of pro-democracy protests in 2011. The war has taken on increasingly religious overtones as various groups have become involved in the largely Sunni opposition to the Shi'a Alawi minority dictatorship.