RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION IN CHRISTIAN-MAJORITY DEMOCRACIES FROM 1990 TO 2014

  • Jonathan Fox Bar Ilan University, Israel

Abstract

This study examines patterns in societal and government-based religious discrimination (SRD and GRD) against 307 religious minorities in 67 Christian-majority democracies using the Religion and State-Minorities round 3 (RASM3) dataset. Despite expectations that all forms of religious discrimination, especially GRD, should be lower in Western liberal democracies, it is, in fact, lower in developing countries. I argue that three factors explain this discrepancy. Economically developed countries have more resources available for discrimination. Western democracies have higher levels of support for religion than Christian-majority developing countries and countries which more strongly support religion are more likely to discriminate against religious minorities. Finally levels of SRD are higher in the West and SRD is posited to be a cause of GRD. Empirical tests support these propositions.

Keywords: Societal Religious Discrimination, Governmental religious Discrimination, Democracy, Christianity

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Published
2019-11-11