UNITED NATIONS - The UN special investigator on freedom of religion says three-quarters of the world's people live in countries that either restrict the right to religion or belief or have "a high level of social hostility involving religion or belief."
Ahmed Shaheed told the General Assembly's human rights committee Tuesday that religious intolerance is prevalent globally -- and rising around the world.
He said over 70 countries have anti-blasphemy laws that can be used to suppress dissenting views, in violation of international human rights standards. He called on those countries to repeal the laws.
Shaheed called for the repeal of all laws that undermine the exercise of the right to freedom of religion or belief -- or discriminate against that right.