Research & Data


This article summarizes the first documented quantitative national estimates of the economic value
of religion to U.S. society.

Business: A powerful force for supporting interfaith understanding and peace

Companies can make significant contributions to advancing interfaith understanding and peace – religious freedom broadly defined – through both core business and outreach activities. This set of case studies from the UN Global Compact Business for Peace platform and the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation fall into four areas:

1. Using Marketing Expertise to Bridge Borders

2. Incentivizing Innovation

3. Incubating and Catalyzing Social Entrepreneurship

4. Supporting Workforce Diversity

Is Religious Freedom Good for Business?: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis

As the world navigates away from years of poor economic performance, religious freedom may be an unrecognized asset to economic recovery and growth, according to this new study. This study examines and finds a positive relationship between religious freedom and ten of the twelve pillars of global competitiveness, as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

Changing religion, changing economies

Dramatic religious and economic shifts will impact our planet in the decades ahead, according to this new study by the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, Changing religion, changing economies. The study provides insights into the global marketplace’s growing religious diversity by linking the best available demographic and economic data.

The Price of Freedom Denied

The Price of Freedom Denied shows that, contrary to popular opinion, ensuring religious freedom for all reduces violent religious persecution and conflict. Others have suggested that restrictions on religion are necessary to maintain order or preserve a peaceful religious homogeneity. Brian J. Grim and Roger Finke show that restricting religious freedoms is associated with higher levels of violent persecution. Relying on a new source of coded data for nearly 200 countries and case studies of six countries, the book offers a global profile of religious freedom and religious persecution.

Business Case Studies

These twelve case studies show how business leaders from across the globe are advancing interfaith understanding, religious freedom, and peace through their core business, social investment, philanthropy, advocacy, public policy engagement, partnerships, and collective action. The diversity of these businesses and leaders shows that the values of interfaith understanding, religious freedom, and peace have universal appeal.

The State of Religious Freedom in the World

Pew Research Center data show that the number of people living in countries with high religious restrictions and hostilities has reached nearly six billion people, or 78.5% of the world’s total population in 2017. This represents an increase of 1.1 billion since the first year of the study. See the details.

Socioeconomic Impact of Religious Freedom

This summary of research indicates that religious freedom contributes to human flourishing, sustainable development, and their underlying socioeconomic foundations.

Sustainable Development goals and religious freedom

In this ongoing series, the relationship is explored between religious freedom and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit.

This series examines how religious freedom plays a part in achieving sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.


This white paper examines the human right of religious freedom as a CSR initiative. In particular, the paper discusses international standards-setting instruments’ recognition of religious freedom as a part of CSR policy, benefits to businesses of preserving and promoting religious freedom, and the corporate role in establishing and maintaining religious freedom.

World Economic Forum: Global Agenda Council, the Role of Faith

The research and articles here are part of a “toolkit” developed by members of the Council, which seeks to increase “religious literacy” – including awareness and understanding of the positive impact of the role of faith in various sectors – in our complex world. Featured articles include:

 “The Role of Faith in Addressing Key Global Challenges”

 “Can religion make economic growth more fair?”

 “Religion holds women back. Or does it?”

European Law & Religion or Belief in the Workplace

This ongoing series examines issues in European law related to freedom of religion or belief in the workplace.

 “Religious freedom standards in the European workplace,” by Ahrens G. Kerwood

 “Recommendations and Review of the Corporate Pledge in Light of European Law,” by Ryan Anderson

 “Is freedom of religion or belief in the workplace really protected by the European Court of Human Rights?,” by Rebeca Vázquez Gómez