"The theology of male hair can be controversial," the Economist modestly states. A topic I've mentioned here before (the evil goatee), I was interested that various countries with large Islamic population have banned both shaving and not shaving. In Somalia and Talibanish Afghanistan, men had to grow beards and trim mustaches. Secular regimes have often banned them, however. In India, a Christian college was ruled to be entitled to ban beards because, as the judge put it, "we do not want Talibans here." One Japanese city has outlawed beards as well because "some citizens find bearded men unpleasant."
The Economist made it sound as if Christianity was largely in favor of beards, particularly conservative Christianity, by only citing Orthodox Christian practice. This neglects that the Catholic church had beard regulations as early as 503 which evolved into bans on priestly facial hair: "an attempt made by some of the clergy of Bavaria in 1865 to introduce the wearing of beards was rebuked by the Holy See."