The most and least racially diverse U.S. religious groups

The nation’s population is growing more racially and ethnically diverse – and so are many of its religious groups, both at the congregational level and among broader Christian traditions.  But a new analysis of data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study also finds that these levels of diversity vary widely within U.S. religious groups.

Seventh-day Adventists top the list with a score of 9.1: 37% of adults who identify as Seventh-day Adventists are white, while 32% are black, 15% are Hispanic, 8% are Asian and another 8% are another race or mixed race.

Muslims (8.7) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (8.6) are close behind in terms of diversity, as no racial or ethnic group makes up more than 40% of either group. Blacks, whites (including some people of North African or Middle Eastern descent) and Asians each make up a quarter or more of U.S. Muslims, while blacks, whites and Latinos each make up a quarter or more of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

 

The lack of recognition for the Turkish language

July 6, 2014

According to the Brigitta Busch, Professor of linguistics at the University of Vienna, Austria is generally paying low or no attention and offers no recognition to language diversity inside its borders. In particular, the Turkish language, Busch stresses, does not enjoy any positive reputation; however, since some parts of the government want to establish a Turkish Matura at the Gymnasiums, some politicians from the right are openly showing their assessment.

Half of the Most Religiously Diverse Countries are in Asia-Pacific Region

April 4, 2014

 

Several years ago, the Pew Research Center produced estimates of the religious makeup of more than 200 countries and territories, which it published in the 2012 report “The Global Religious Landscape.” The effort was part of the Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures project, which analyzes religious change and its impact on societies around the world. As part of the next phase of this project, Pew Research has produced an index that ranks each country by its level of religious diversity.

Comparing religious diversity across countries presents many challenges, starting with the definition of diversity. Social scientists have conceived of diversity in a variety of ways, including the degree to which a society is split into distinct groups; minority group size (in share and/or absolute number); minority group influence (the degree to which multiple groups are visible and influential in civil society); and group dominance (the degree to which one or more groups dominate society). Each of these approaches can be applied to the study of religious diversity.1

This study, however, takes a relatively straightforward approach to religious diversity. It looks at the percentage of each country’s population that belongs to eight major religious groups, as of 2010.2 The closer a country comes to having equal shares of the eight groups, the higher its score on a 10-point Religious Diversity Index.

The choice of which religious groups to include in this study stems from the original research that was done for “The Global Religious Landscape” report. That study was based on a country-by-country analysis of data from more than 2,500 national censuses, large-scale surveys and official population registers that were collected, evaluated and standardized by Pew Research staff and, in the case of European countries, by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria.

In order to have data that were comparable across many countries, the study focused on five widely recognized world religions – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism – that collectively account for roughly three-quarters of the world’s population. The remainder of the global population was consolidated into three additional groups: the religiously unaffiliated (those who say they are atheists, agnostics or nothing in particular); adherents of folk or traditional religions (including members of African traditional religions, Chinese folk religions, Native American religions and Australian aboriginal religions); and adherents of other religions (such as the Baha’i faith, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Taoism, Tenrikyo, Wicca and Zoroastrianism).

How Countries Ranked

Looking at the percentage of each country’s population that belongs to the eight major religious categories included in the study, 12 countries have a very high degree of religious diversity. Six of the 12 are in the Asia-Pacific region (Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, China and Hong Kong); five are in sub-Saharan Africa (Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Ivory Coast, Benin and Mozambique); and one is in Latin America and the Caribbean (Suriname). No countries in Europe, North America or the Middle East-North Africa region have a very high degree of religious diversity as measured in this study.

Of the 232 countries in the study, Singapore – an island nation of more than 5 million people situated at the southern tip of Malaysia – has the highest score on the Religious Diversity Index. About a third of Singapore’s population is Buddhist (34%), while 18% are Christian, 16% are religiously unaffiliated, 14% are Muslim, 5% are Hindu and <1% are Jewish. The remainder of the population belongs to folk or traditional religions (2%) or to other religions considered as a group (10%).

According to the new index, the United States has a moderate level of religious diversity, ranking 68th among the 232 countries and territories included in the study. Counting both adults and children, Christians constitute a sizable majority of the 2010 U.S. population (78%). Of the seven other major religious groups, only the religiously unaffiliated claim a substantial share of the U.S. population (16%).7 All other religious groups combined account for about 5% of Americans. (The U.S. would register as considerably more diverse if subgroups within Christianity were counted.8)

By contrast, France has a high degree of religious diversity, ranking 25th among the 232 countries. Christians make up 63% of France’s 2010 population, and two other groups account for sizable shares: the religiously unaffiliated (28%) and Muslims (8%). Iran, whose population is almost entirely Muslim, falls into the low diversity category.

To see how all 232 countries scored on the Religious Diversity Index, see Appendix 1 (PDF).

Pew.com: http://www.pewforum.org/2014/04/04/global-religious-diversity/

Interview with the Migration Expert Rita Süssmuth: Learning to Deal with Diversity

December 2, 2013

 

Summary: If Europe’s immigration policy is not changed in the coming years, the continent’s population will start to shrink dramatically in 2025. Annika Zeitler spoke to the German migration expert and former President of the Bundestag, Rita Süssmuth.

Full story at Qantara.de – http://en.qantara.de/content/interview-with-the-migration-expert-rita-sussmuth-learning-to-deal-with-diversity

The Diversity Illusion by Ed West – review

Ed West’s The Diversity Illusion has the benefit of being a brazen and breezily written polemic. It is, however, flawed, both in its often-daft analysis and sweeping approach to facts. To pluck a few at random, the author insists that most Tory voters still agree with Enoch Powell, millions of Britons would question the right to contraception, and young Muslims are radicalised by dealing with white liberal academics. West’s arguments are repeatedly undermined by reality. For instance, he points to three London boroughs to prove that diversity undermines education; in fact, London schools have improved so rapidly in the past 10 years – a period of unprecedented immigration – that even children in the capital’s poorest boroughs now do better than the average pupil elsewhere in the country. And to say that aside from food, little innovation has arisen from immigration shows only wilful blindness to both cultural and economic reality. Sadly, such is the myopic vision of misanthropes who live in fear of their country.

Islam: Bologna, Islamic Confederation promotes meeting

April 24, 2013

ROME — ”Diversity in Islam and interfaith dialogue” is the theme of a meeting to be held in Bologna, Tuesday April 30 at 10:00 am, organized by the Confederation of Italian Islam (CII). The objective of the meeting, announced by the CII is to ”create an opportunity for Islamic parties who are interested in the issues of religious freedom and interreligious dialogue.”

Founded in March 2012, CII, headed by Wahid al Fihri, aims to examine issues such as integration, citizenship and civil coexistence among peoples and religions.

Halal food for Brussels Transport canteens

06.03.2012

Le Soir

After a union led debate upon the introduction of halal food, the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company’s (STIB) Diversity Committee has accelerated the process after gelatine which contains pork was found in three salads offered at STIB’s canteens. Many of the STIB employees are of Muslim faith and those who support the motion to diversify the food offered by STIB canteens do so by arguing for change in face of shifting demographic structures amongst STIB employees.

The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity

The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are united in their belief in God and the Prophet Muhammad and are bound together by such religious practices as fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and almsgiving to assist people in need. But they have widely differing views about many other aspects of their faith, including how important religion is to their lives, who counts as a Muslim and what practices are acceptable in Islam, according to a worldwide survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The survey, which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages, finds that in addition to the widespread conviction that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His Prophet, large percentages of Muslims around the world share other articles of faith, including belief in angels, heaven, hell and fate (or predestination). While there is broad agreement on the core tenets of Islam, however, Muslims across the 39 countries and territories surveyed differ significantly in their levels of religious commitment, openness to multiple interpretations of their faith and acceptance of various sects and movements.

Some of these differences are apparent at a regional level. For example, at least eight-in-ten Muslims in every country surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and South Asia say that religion is very important in their lives. Across the Middle East and North Africa, roughly six-in-ten or more say the same. And in the United States, a 2011 Pew Research Center survey found that nearly seven-in-ten Muslims (69%) say religion is very important to them. (For more comparisons with U.S. Muslims, see Appendix A.) But religion plays a much less central role for some Muslims, particularly in nations that only recently have emerged from communism. No more than half of those surveyed in Russia, the Balkans and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia say religion is very important in their lives. The one exception across this broad swath of Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and Central Asia is Turkey, which never came under communist rule; fully two-thirds of Turkish Muslims (67%) say religion is very important to them.

Generational differences are also apparent. Across the Middle East and North Africa, for example, Muslims 35 and older tend to place greater emphasis on religion and to exhibit higher levels of religious commitment than do Muslims between the ages of 18 and 34. In all seven countries surveyed in the region, older Muslims are more likely to report that they attend mosque, read the Quran (also spelled Koran) on a daily basis and pray multiple times each day. Outside of the Middle East and North Africa, the generational differences are not as sharp. And the survey finds that in one country – Russia – the general pattern is reversed and younger Muslims are significantly more observant than their elders.

Seeking Greater Diversity in German Media

The diversity of the immigrant community in Germany is conspicuously absent from the German media. Hardly a country in Europe has as few media professionals with migrant backgrounds as Germany. A new association of media professionals, is intent on changing this situation. Sophie Schabarum has been taking a closer look

Conference on Diversity and Islamophobia

17.10.2011

In light of growing Islamophobic tendencies across Germany, the Bavarian Red Cross celebrated its 125th anniversary with a conference dedicated to the topics “diversity” and “Islamophobia” in Nuremberg on October 15th. The backdrop to the Red Cross’ engagement in the debate about Islamophobia is its guiding principle of promoting the respectful co-existence between immigrants and the native population. The conference, entitled “Promoting Diversity, Equality and Integration – Challenging Islamophobia in Europe”, is organized to discuss the current situation of Muslims in Europe and, according to the Bavarian Red Cross, aims to identity strategies to effectively counteract Islamophobia. The conference programme also includes the presentation of a number of practical examples from various European cities.