"Since it is the season of goodwill to all, holiday cheer, and all that, it's worth asking how much of these particular values are actually around nowadays. We could certainly do with more goodwill, of course -- particularly from brutal rulers in places such as Bahrain and Syria. And a bit more cheer on European bond markets might do the global economy a favor. But overall, levels of holiday spirit appear to be high worldwide -- and climbing.
"A recent Council on Foreign Relations report gathered data on global opinion related to human rights that suggest widespread tolerance and good-feeling toward one's neighbors. For example, a 2008 WorldPublicOpinion.org survey of 24 countries found that, in every country, the great majority of respondents thought it was important to treat people of different religions equally. Even in the lowest-scoring country, Egypt, 74 percent agreed that religious equality was very or somewhat important. Of course, polling evidence is never that straightforward: The survey reported 67 percent of Egyptians also agreed there are some religions that people should not be allowed to practice, and recent clashes suggest tolerance of other faiths has some way to go in the country. But across the globe, the basic principle of religious tolerance appears to be widely acknowledged. "
Charles Kenny, Foreign Policy, December 19, 2011