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Forty-three nations have an official state religion and 40 nations give preference or favoritism to a religious tradition, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of 199 nations released on Oct. 3. Of the remaining 116 nations included in the assessment, 106 (53 percent) have no official or preferred religious tradition and 10 (5 percent) […] Read More

There were 1,196 human trafficking offenses in the U.S. reported to law enforcement in 2016, according to the FBI’s annual “Crime in the U.S.” report released on Sept. 25. The majority (1,007) of reported trafficking incidents involved commercial sex acts, with the remaining 189 cases related to involuntary servitude. The trafficking data in the annual […] Read More

A majority (79.4 percent) of the 689,800 current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients were born in Mexico, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data. DACA recipients from Central America were the next highest percentage: El Salvador (3.7 percent), Guatemala (2.6) and Honduras (2.3). The remaining 12 percent of recipients were from […] Read More

There are currently 40.3 million people enslaved globally and 151.6 million children subjected to child labor. These were key figures from two new reports – one on modern slavery and one on child labor – published Sept. 19 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation (WFF), in partnership with the International […] Read More

More than half (3.5 million) of all school-aged refugees (6.4 million) did not attend school in 2016, according to a U.N. High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) report released on Sept. 12. The percentage of refugee children with access to primary schooling increased 11 points to 61 percent in 2016. Yet, this remains significantly lower than […] Read More

The number of people experiencing hunger rose for the first time in a decade, according to the United Nations annual report, “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World.” Last year, 815 million people experienced hunger globally – an increase of 38 million from 2015, though still below a high of 900 million […] Read More

Food insecurity in the U.S. declined for the fifth straight year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) annual report released last week. Even so, more than 15 million households were food insecure in 2016. According to USDA definitions, “food-secure households have consistent access throughout the year to adequate food for active healthy living […] Read More

Expanding access to clean water, along with proper sanitation and hygiene systems, is essential to ending global poverty, but often there is a gap between policy and implementation. This was a central emphasis in a new World Bank report based on studies of conditions in 18 nations, including Bangladesh, Guatemala, Nigeria and the West Bank. […] Read More

Baptist groups are preparing to mobilize to help victims of Hurricane Irma, even as efforts to assist folks recovering from Hurricane Harvey continue. As with Hurricane Harvey recovery initiatives, much of the Baptist relief efforts related to Hurricane Irma will begin following the immediate work of first responders. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship announced on Sept. […] Read More

A majority of U.S. adults don’t use the Internet to access spiritual or religious content, even though most believe the Internet exposes them to new perspectives. These are two findings in a Baylor University religion survey, “American Values, Mental Health and Using Technology in the Age of Trump,” which was released on Sept. 7. As […] Read More