The status of religious freedom in Asia varies from country to country. States can differ based on whether or not they guarantee equal treatment under law for followers of different religions, whether they establish a state religion (and the legal implications that this has for both practitioners and non-practitioners), the extent to which religious organizations operating within the country are policed, and the extent to which religious law is used as a basis for the country's legal code.
|Freedom of religion|
There are further discrepancies between some countries' self-proclaimed stances of religious freedom in law and the actual practice of authority bodies within those countries: a country's establishment of religious equality in their constitution or laws does not necessarily translate into freedom of practice for residents of the country. Additionally, similar practices (such as having citizens identify their religious preference to the government or on identification cards) can have different consequences depending on other sociopolitical circumstances specific to the countries in question. Most countries in Asia officially establish the freedom of religion by law, but the extent to which this is enforced varies. Some countries have anti-discrimination laws, and others have anti-blasphemy laws. Legal religious discrimination is present in many countries in Asia. Some countries also have significantly restricted the activities of Islamic groups that they have identified as fundamentalist. Several countries ban proselytization, either in general or for specific religious groups. Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have significant restrictions against the practice of religion in general, and other countries like China discourage it on a wide basis. Several countries in Asia establish a state religion, with Islam (usually Sunni Islam) being the most common, followed by Buddhism. Lebanon and Iran, as well as the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria have established confessionalist political systems which guarantee set levels of representation in government to specific religious groups in the country. Some majority Muslim countries have Islamic religious courts, with varying degrees of jurisdiction. The governments of some Muslim countries play an active role in overseeing and directing form of Muslim religious practice within their country.
Religious violence is present in several countries, with varying degrees of support or intervention from local governments. Groups including Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists face religiously motivated violence.