Impact of religious affiliation and religiosity on forgiveness


RMIT University, Swanston Street, Building 8, Level 5, Room 11, Melbourne, Vic., 3000,


The aim of the present study was to investigate the link between religiosity and forgiveness among Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular affiliations. Measures of forgiveness included attitudes towards forgiveness (attitudinal) and tendencies to forgive transgressions in the past (behavioural) and future (projective). Religious faith, interpretation, prayer and religious service attendance were used to measure religiosity. Four hundred and seventy-five Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular individuals participated and completed an internet-based questionnaire. This study found religiosity positively correlated with forgiveness. Religious groups reported significantly higher attitudinal and projective forgiveness than the secular group. Among religious groups, religiosity was a stronger determinant of forgiveness than the specific religion an individual was affiliated with. These findings suggested that faith is the strongest religiosity predictor of forgiveness.