'Young Europeans more likely to support restrictions on religious expression' - WEF

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'Young Europeans more likely to support restrictions on religious expression' - WEF

'Young Europeans more likely to support restrictions on religious expression' - WEF
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A report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) has found young people in Europe are more likely to support restrictions on public expression of religious beliefs than people the same age group in other parts of the world.

The WEF classes ‘young people’ as those under 35 years old. Its Global Shapers Annual Survey 2016 aims to answer two key questions:

How do young people see the world?
And what do they want to do about it?

Religious expression

The freedom of religious expression in public places has been in the headlines recently with debate rife over the controversial burkini bans in parts of France. In this graph we have a look at how regions of the world feel about religious freedom

As you can see by hovering the mouse over the graphic, in Europe (which, in this survey, includes ‘The Council of Europe’ countries, ie Turkey and Russia) just under 40% of people either agreed or strongly agreed with a restriction on public religious expression, while 24.6% declared themselves as neutral and 36.6% disagreed.

However, the results suggest this differs greatly between countries. For example in the UK only 21% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement compared with 40% in France, 45% in Croatia and 50% in Ukraine.


With the world in the throes of the biggest-ever refugee crisis since the Second World War, how do young people feel about welcoming foreign nationals?

Overall, only 16.3% of people in all countries who responded said that they would not want refugees in their country.

However, there are differences between the number of people who say they would be happy to receive refugees into their country (73.6% globally) and those who would welcome them to their city or neighbourhood (45.8% and 41.5% respectively).

Europe is above the global average with regards to young people’s “openness” in welcoming refugees, the figures suggest.


Abuse of power and corruption were the things that most bothered respondents politically.

Worries about corruption were most prevalent in Eurasia and Latin America, with over 70% of people listing it as a cause of concern. However, lack of accountability and bureaucracy are also consistently high.

About the survey

The respondents are members of the Global Shapers Community (2K) but includes others who are not members.

There are four age groups: 18-21; 22-26; 27-30; 31-35.

The survey received 26,615 total responses from 181 countries, of which 20,079 were valid.