Relationships Between Religion and Intolerance Towards Muslims and Immigrants in Europe:A Multilevel Analysis

Doebler, Stefanie (2014) Relationships Between Religion and Intolerance Towards Muslims and Immigrants in Europe:A Multilevel Analysis. Review of Religious Research, 56 (1). 61–86. ISSN 2211-4866

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This paper examines relationships between religiosity and intolerance towards Muslims and immigrants among Europeans living in non-Muslim majority countries by applying multilevel modeling to European Values Study data (wave four, 2010). Thus relationships across 44 national contexts are analyzed. The analysis found large between-country differences in the overall levels of intolerance towards immigrants and Muslims. Eastern Europeans tend to be more intolerant than Western Europeans. In most countries Muslims are less accepted than immigrants,—a finding which reflects that in post-9/11 Europe Islamophobia is prevalent and many still see Muslims with suspicion. A key result is that believing matters for the citizen’s attitudes towards Muslims and immigrants. Across Europe, traditional and modern fuzzy beliefs in a Higher Being are strongly negatively related to intolerance towards immigrants and Muslims, while fundamentalism is positively related to both targets of intolerance. Religious practice and denominational belonging on the other hand matter far less for the citizen’s propensity to dislike the two out-groups. With the only exception of non-devout Protestants who do not practice their religion, members of religious denominations are not more intolerant than non-members. The findings are valid for the vast majority of countries although countries differ in the magnitude of the effects.

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Journal Article
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Review of Religious Research
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01 Oct 2019 08:30
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 01:27