While their manifestations are varied, religious intolerance and religious violence remain major problems in the world today. Within our part of the world, Hindus in India have become increasingly intolerant of their religious minorities, especially Muslims. Pakistan has its own share of religious and sectarian intolerance. Sinhalese Buddhists have also become aggressive in Sri Lanka, and the recent terrorist attack in the country will probably make matters worse.
While one may not think of China, with its marvellous economic growth led by a strong government, as a place which could be susceptible to religious intolerance, recent evidence indicates that Chinese populace is not immune to this malice either. China has, of course, come a long way over the past couple of decades in terms of allowing religious freedom. However, analysts of Chinese social media have noted the disturbing growth of Islamophobia in the country. Such trends are significant given the rise of social media in China, which has profoundly affected how people acquire information, and express their opinions. While still restricted, social media trends do provide significant insight into what the public is thinking on issues which are not considered ‘sensitive’ topics by the Chinese state.