Bangladesh Religious Freedom Landscape Report

Title: Bangladesh Religious Freedom Landscape Report

Author: Timothy S. Shah

About: The Bangladesh Religious Freedom Landscape Report provides a thorough analysis of the legal, political, and social conditions that shape religious freedom in this country and the prospects for advancing it in the future.

Bangladesh has high restrictions on religious freedom at the governmental level, and extremely high levels of religious freedom violations on the societal level. While the country’s constitution contains robust provisions for religious freedom and the state provides religious freedom in education and family law, Islam is enshrined in the Constitution in ways that are used to discriminate against non-Muslim minorities. Moreover, Islamist militants carry out extensive violence, most significantly against Hindus, but also against “deviant” Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, activist NGOs, and secular activists.

The governance of religion and religious freedom has been fiercely disputed since the country’s formation in December 1971. Nevertheless, an ideology of positive secularism, calling for a reasonable level of religious freedom, is espoused among the greater population and by many politicians in Bangladesh. The governance of the pro-Islam party, and the accompanying Islamist militant violence of the 2000s, has given way to governance that is more respectful of religious minorities.

Publication Date: September 2020

Recommended Citation: Shah, Timothy S. Bangladesh Religious Freedom Landscape Report. Religious Freedom Institute, 2020.