Category Archives: Research Results

Useful links to Pew Research Center reports and data

Conrad Hackett, Senior Demographer & Associate Director, Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center has a wealth of data about religion around the world. It can be hard to keep track of all our products, even for those of us who work at the Center. Here is an incomplete list of links to reports, quizzes and data resources that may be of interest for research and teaching purposes:

Survey reports on religion in: Western Europe Central and Eastern Europe Sub-Saharan Africa Latin America Israel Muslim majority countries (religion report) Muslim majority countries (politics report) Orthodox Christians

Religious demography reports on: The Future of World Religions The Changing Global Religious Landscape The Gender Gap in Religious Commitment The Age & Geography Gap in Religious Commitment Religion and Educational Attainment The Growth of the Muslim Population in Europe Global migrant stocks by religion Religious diversity

Religious restrictions Latest annual report

US religion reports Religious Landscape Study Religious Typology Jews Muslims Mormons Catholics Knowledge Feelings toward religious groups

Quizzes Religious knowledge Typology

Useful data Download our datasets Current and projected religious composition of each country Religion and education data Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures site

New Pew Study Released

Being Christian in Western Europe

The majority of Europe’s Christians are non-practicing, but they differ from religiously unaffiliated people in their attitudes toward Muslims and immigrants, views on God, and opinions about religion’s role in society

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 29, 2018) – Western Europe, where Protestant Christianity originated and Catholicism has been based for most of its history, has become one of the world’s most secular regions. Although the vast majority of adults say they were baptized, today many do not describe themselves as Christians. Some say they gradually drifted away from religion, stopped believing in religious teachings, or were alienated by scandals or church positions on social issues, according to a major new Pew Research Center survey of religious beliefs and practices in Western Europe.

Yet most adults surveyed still do consider themselves Christians, even if they seldom go to church. The survey shows that non-practicing Christians (defined, for the purposes of this report, as people who identify as Christians, but attend church services no more than a few times per year) make up the biggest share of the population across the region. In every country except Italy, they are more numerous than church-attending Christians (those who go to religious services at least once a month). Non-practicing Christians also outnumber the religiously unaffiliated population (people who identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” sometimes called the “nones”) in most of the countries surveyed.

The Pew Research Center study – which involved more than 24,000 telephone interviews with randomly selected adults, including nearly 12,000 non-practicing Christians – finds that Christian identity remains a meaningful marker in Western Europe, even among those who seldom go to church. It is not just a “nominal” identity devoid of practical importance. On the contrary, the religious, political and cultural views of non-practicing Christians often differ from those of church-attending Christians and religiously unaffiliated adults.

Indeed, Christian identity in Western Europe is associated with higher levels of negative sentiment toward immigrants and religious minorities. On balance, self-identified Christians – whether they attend church or not – are more likely than religiously unaffiliated people to express negative views of immigrants, as well as of Muslims and Jews.

For example, in the UK, 45% of church-attending Christians say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with British values and culture, as do roughly the same share of non-practicing Christians (47%). But among religiously unaffiliated adults, fewer (30%) say Islam is fundamentally incompatible with their country’s values. There is a similar pattern across the region on whether there should be restrictions on Muslim women’s dress in public, with Christians more likely than “nones” to say Muslim women should not be allowed to wear any religious clothing in public.

Churchgoing Christians, non-practicing Christians and religiously unaffiliated people also differ in their attitudes on nationalism. Non-practicing Christians are less likely than church-attending Christians to express nationalist views. Still, they are more likely than “nones” to say that their culture is superior to others and that it is necessary to have the country’s ancestry to share the national identity (e.g., one must have Spanish family background to be truly Spanish).

For instance, in France, nearly three-quarters of church-attending Christians (72%) say it is important to have French ancestry to be “truly French.” Among non-practicing Christians, 52% take this position, but this is still higher than the 43% of religiously unaffiliated French adults who say having French family background is important in order to be truly French.

The survey, which was conducted following a surge of immigration to Europe from Muslim-majority countries, asked many other questions about national identity, religious pluralism and immigration.

Most Western Europeans say they are willing to accept Muslims and Jews in their neighborhoods and in their families, and most reject negative statements about these groups. And, on balance, more respondents say immigrants are honest and hardworking than say the opposite.

But a clear and consistent pattern emerges: Both church-attending and non-practicing Christians are more likely than religiously unaffiliated adults in Western Europe to voice anti-immigrant, anti-minority and nationalist views.

There also are other factors beyond religious identity that are closely connected with these positions. For example, higher education and personally knowing someone who is Muslim tend to go hand in hand with more openness to immigration and religious minorities. And identifying with the political right is strongly linked to anti-immigration stances. Still, even after using statistical techniques to control for these factors (and several others, including age and gender) Western Europeans who identify as Christian are more likely than those who have no religious affiliation to express negative feelings about immigrants and religious minorities.

Other key ways in which non-practicing Christians, churchgoing Christians and religiously unaffiliated adults in the region differ include:

• Although many non-practicing Christians say they do not believe in God “as described in the Bible,” they do tend to believe in some other higher power or spiritual force. By contrast, most church-attending Christians say they believe in the biblical depiction of God. And a clear majority of religiously unaffiliated adults do not believe in any type of higher power or spiritual force in the universe.

• Non-practicing Christians tend to express more positive than negative views toward churches and religious organizations, saying they serve society by helping the poor and bringing communities together. Their attitudes toward religious institutions are not quite as favorable as those of church-attending Christians, but they are more likely than religiously unaffiliated Europeans to say churches and other religious organizations contribute positively to society.

• The vast majority of non-practicing Christians, like the vast majority of the unaffiliated in Western Europe, favor legal abortion and same-sex marriage. Church-attending Christians are more conservative on these issues, though even among churchgoing Christians, there is substantial support – and in several countries, majority support – for legal abortion and same-sex marriage.

• Nearly all churchgoing Christians who are parents or guardians of minor children (those under 18) say they are raising those children in the Christian faith. Among non-practicing Christians, somewhat fewer – though still the overwhelming majority – say they are bringing up their children as Christians. By contrast, religiously unaffiliated parents generally are raising their children with no religion.

These are among the key findings of the new Pew Research Center survey. The study, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, is part of a larger effort by Pew Research Center to understand religious change and its impact on societies around the world.

Read the report: http://www.pewforum.org/2018/05/29/being-christian-in-western-europe/

For more information, or to arrange an interview with the study’s lead authors, Associate Director of Research Neha Sahgal and Director of Religion Research Alan Cooperman, please contact Anna Schiller at (+1) 202-419-4372 or aschiller@pewresearch.org.

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Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on ourFact Tank blog.

New book reporting a survey of Asian Muslims

New from RC22 member Hiroshi KOJIMA:

Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Waseda University, Proceedings of the International Workshop on Halal Food Consumption in East and West (with Appendix of Survey Report), Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Research Paper Series, Vol.5. Institute for Asian Muslim Studies, Waseda University, Tokyo, March 2018 (ISBN: 9784990740245).

This is downloadable from https://www.waseda.jp/inst/ias/assets/uploads/2016/07/RP5.pdf

You can see the full list of Institute publications here: https://www.waseda.jp/inst/ias/en/publication/institute-for-asian-muslim-studies/

Special Journal Issue: “The European Court of Human Rights and minority religions”

Religion, State and Society

Volume 45, 2017 – Issue 3-4: European Court of Human Rights and minority religions

Edited by Effie Fokas and James T. Richardson

I. ECtHR and case law: clarity, consistency and controversy

  • The principled slope: religious freedom and the European Court of Human Rights – Melanie Adrian
  • The freedom to wear religious clothing in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights: an appraisal in the light of states’ positive obligations – Marcella Ferri
  • Human rights and religions: ‘living together’ or dying apart? A critical assessment of the dissenting opinion in S.A.S. v. France and the notion of ‘living together’ – Christos Tsevas
  • Militant or pluralist secularism? The European Court of Human Rights facing religious diversity – Roberta Medda-Windischer
  • Update on Jehovah’s Witness cases before the European Court of Human Rights: implications of a surprising partnership – James T. Richardson

II. The ECtHR at grassroots level

  • The European Court of Human Rights at the grassroots level: who knows what about religion at the ECtHR and to what effects? – Effie Fokas
  • The ‘filtering effects’ of ECtHR case law on religious freedoms: legal recognition and places of worship for religious minorities in Greece – Margarita Markoviti
  • ‘Genuine’ religions and their arena of legitimation in Italy – the role of the ECtHR – Alberta Giorgi and Pasquale Annicchino
  • Legal provisions, courts, and the status of religious communities: a socio-legal analysis of inter-religious relations in Romania – Mihai Popa and Liviu Andreescu
  • Beyond legal victory or reform: the legal mobilisation of religious groups in the European Court of Human Rights – Ceren Ozgul

Research Report: “Religion in Public Life: Levelling the Ground”, by Grace Davie

It is a commonplace, nowadays, to say that religion has returned to public life. And like most commonplaces it is partially true. Religion is most certainly present in public life in new and highly visible ways but to imply that religion was once nowhere and is now everywhere is seriously misleading.

We need instead to enquire into the factors that have brought about the current shift in perspective. That done, we must examine in detail the different – and at times contrasting – ways in which religion manifests itself is the very varied segments of society that we deem to be public.

In this report, sociologist of religion Professor Grace Davie draws on her 2016 Edward Cadbury Lectures to explore the ‘return’ of religion to public life, analysing a series of ‘levels’ – local, metropolitan, national, and global – and considering why and how we have got here, and what the future holds for religion in Britain. 

The report is available for download at https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/research/2017/10/28/religion-in-public-life-levelling-the-ground

Grace Davie is Professor Emeritus at the University of Exeter. She is author of numerous works on religion and society, including Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (2015, 2nd edition).

Report on Islamophobia

Colleagues may be interested in the launch of this new Runnymede Trust anniversary report on Islamophobia, which ‘brings together varied perspectives from leading thinkers on inequality and Muslims in Britain, unpacking issues such as integration, hate crime, gender, identity and, of course, racism’:

https://www.runnymedetrust.org/projects-and-publications/equality-and-integration/islamophobia.html

Best wishes,

Nasar


Nasar Meer FAcSS

Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship

Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Fellow 2014-2020

Call for Papers: ISA Research Committee on the Sociology of Religion (RC22)

Publication Announcement: Approaching Religion Vol. 7/1 (April, 2017)

Approaching Religion

Available April 2017

Theme: Interreligious dialogue in Asia
Guest Editor: Professor Lionel Obadia

AR is an open access journal published by the Donner Institute. Its
purpose is to publish current research on religion and culture and to
offer a platform for scholarly co-operation and debate within these
fields. The articles have been selected on the basis of peer-review.

Approaching Religion
Vol 7, No 1 (2017)

Table of Contents

Editorial

Religious diversity (1)
Lionel Obadia & Ruth Illman

Review article

Comparing ‘religious diversities’. Looking Eastward: (Asia) beyond the
West (2-9)
Lionel Obadia

Articles

Diversity and elite religiosity in modern China. A model (10-20)
Vincent Goossaert

Religious diversity and patrimonialization. A case study of the Nianli
Festival in Leizhou Peninsula, China (21-31)
Shanshan Zheng

Traditional and modern crossing process exchange in a Buddhist-Muslim
society. Case studied: Zangskar valley in the great Indian Himalayas (32-45)
Salomé Deboos

Becoming Christians. Prayers and subject formation in an urban church in
China (46-54)
Jianbo Huang & Mengyin Hu

Dr Ruth Illman /Dr. Ruth Illman
Föreståndare, Donnerska institutet /Director, the Donner Institute
Docent i religionsvetenskap, Åbo Akademi/ Docent of Comparative Religion, Åbo Akademi University

Research Results: Pew Study on the Future of World Religions

PEW, April 2, 2015

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050

Why Muslims Are Rising Fastest and the Unaffiliated Are Shrinking as a

Share of the World’s Population

http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/

The religious profile of the world is rapidly changing, driven primarily by differences in fertility rates and the size of youth populations among the world’s major religions, as well as by people switching faiths. Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 …

  • – The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.
  • – Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
  • – The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
  • – In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
  • – India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
  • – In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
  • – Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are among the global religious trends highlighted in new demographic projections by the Pew Research Center. The projections take into account the current size and geographic distribution of the world’s major religions, age differences, fertility and mortality rates, international migration and patterns in conversion.