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2007 A Bad Year for Freedom

Annual report logs second year of decline in liberty worldwide.

Freedom House, which has been tracking global civil liberties and political rights since 1972, released its 2008 survey (of the world in 2007). For the second year in a row, the news isn't good.

Freedom House puts nations and regions (such as Tibet, Palestine, and Kashmir) into three broad categories: "not free," "partly free," and "free," based on levels of political competition, civil liberties, independent media and civil activities, strife, and corruption. Religious freedom fits under a number of those factors.

46 percent of the world's population lives in "free" countries, while 36 percent lives in "not free" countries.

Of course, there's a wide range within each category. In 2007 only one country dropped down a category, and it would be possible for many countries to improve greatly and not be bumped up - but that didn't happen. Freedom House saw degeneration within the categories. The bad got worse, and so did the okay.

Countries that seemed to be taking steps towards greater freedom ...

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