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Restrictions on the Religious Practices of Religious Minorities: A Global Survey

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Abstract

This study examines sources of religious discrimination with a particular emphasis on comparison of the identity- versus structure-related causes. Using a dyad-based analysis, it asks whether and when majorities behave differently in general and whether levels of religious discrimination are different against different minority groups. The Religion and State-Minorities (RASM) dataset, which includes data on 598 minorities in 177 countries covering the years 1990–2008, is used. The results show that specific minority and majority religions tend to have unique patterns of discrimination. Thus religious identity plays an important role in causing religious discrimination. Also, when controlling for other factors, Christian minorities experience the highest levels of discrimination around the world, including in the Christian world other than in Western democracies where Muslims experience the highest levels of discrimination.

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