The Economist , where coverage of religion in the past has ranged vastly from snarky and ill-informed to perceptive and subtle , has launched a new blog on the intersection of religion and public policy. Dubbed “Erasmus,” it will have a particular focus on religious freedom issues:
Across the world, the number of people living under some degree of religious repression has been increasing; only a quarter of the world’s people now enjoy religious freedom according to one recent study . That partly reflects the fact that countries which restrict freedom are extremely populous. The Chinese authorities are making life harder for a burgeoning movement of Christian house churches , and blaming the eirenic Dalai Lama for the actions of Tibetan Buddhists who burn themselves to death. The old Erasmus would be troubled by all these developments, but he would neither despair nor be distracted from his belief in sifting the evidence and patiently searching for the truth. I hope I can do likewise.