The Religiosity of Immigrants in Europe: A Cross‐National Study

Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (Impact Factor: 1.35). 05/2011; 50(2):272 - 288. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2011.01567.x


This study examines cross-national differences in the religiosity of immigrants in Europe utilizing three different measures of religiosity: religious attendance, praying, and subjective religiosity. Hypotheses are formulated by drawing upon a variety of theories—scientific worldview, insecurity, religious markets, and social integration. The hypotheses are tested using European Social Survey data (2002–2008) from more than 10,000 first-generation immigrants living in 27 receiving countries. Multilevel models show that, on the individual level, religiosity is higher among immigrants who are unemployed, less educated, and who have recently arrived in the host country. On the contextual level, the religiosity of natives positively affects immigrant religiosity. The models explain about 60 percent of the cross-national differences in religious attendance and praying of immigrants and about 20 percent of the cross-national differences in subjective religiosity.

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    • "The composition of immigrants in countries with higher immigration rates (i.e. Canada, the United States, Australia, and Western Europe) has also changed over the past few years (Clarke and Skuterud, 2012; Stebleton and Eggerth, 2012; Tubergen and Sindradottir, 2011). Consequently, the workforce has become more diverse with employees of different race, ethnicity, and nationality working together and interacting on a continuous basis (Jonsen et al., 2011). "

    • "The general idea of this theory is that the more contact one has with a certain group, the more likely one is to adhere to the values and beliefs of this particular group (Durkheim 1951). As a member of a social group, one fears being sanctioned in case of noncompliance, which implies that group membership can reinforce certain group norms (Need and de Graaf 1996; Van Tubergen and Sindradottir 2011). In the context of migration, immigrants who have more contact with natives are more likely to adopt the beliefs and ideologies of the secular native majority, meaning these migrants are more likely to become secular themselves. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we analyze veiling as an Islamic religious practice among Turkish and Moroccan immigrant women in the Netherlands, investigating whether the strength of religious identity, education, contact with natives, and gender role attitudes can explain who veils and who does not. Confirming stereotypical interpretations of the veil as a religious symbol of a strongly gendered religion, we find that a strong Muslim identity and traditional gender role attitudes are positively associated with veiling. While our results seem to support predictions that contact with natives and education relate negatively with wearing a headscarf, these relationships with veiling are more complex. Education strengthens the positive relation between religious identification and veiling, indicating that most highly educated women endorse veiling as a religious practice if they are more religious. Contact with Dutch, however, weakens the association between religious identification and veiling, meaning socially well integrated women veil less often even if they are religious. We discuss our findings against the background of previous qualitative research on veiling as a religious practice and regarding theories on immigrant religion in Europe.
    Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 03/2015; 54(1). DOI:10.1111/jssr.12166 · 1.35 Impact Factor
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    • "For a long time, migration researchers in Europe and the United States have paid little interest to the religiousness of immigrants (Cadge and Ecklund, 2007). In the past decades, however, this has changed and particularly in the past few years, there has been a tremendous increase in studies on immigrants' religion, both in the United States (Akresh, 2011; Alanezi and Sherkat, 2008; Massey and Higgins, 2011), Canada (Connor, 2008, 2009b) and in Western Europe (Connor, 2010; Diehl and Koenig, 2009; Fleischmann et al., 2011; Güngör et al., 2011; Maliepaard et al., 2010, 2012; Smits et al., 2010; Van Tubergen and Sindradóttir, 2011; Voas and Fleischmann, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Using data on recently arrived immigrants in the Netherlands, I study the role of migration in religious attendance and praying. For the majority of immigrants, the frequency of reli-gious attendance and praying remains the same after migration, but a substantial group shows religious decline. I observe this drop of religiousness for both attendance and pray-ing, but the drop is much more pronounced for attendance. Whereas 40% participate less often in Holland than before migrating, frequency of praying dropped among 17% only. The degree of religious continuity and decline differs dramatically across immigrant groups. Conditional upon pre-migration religiousness, I find that the ''older'', well-estab-lished and numerically larger migrant groups of Turks, Moroccans, Surinamese and Antil-leans more frequently attend religious meetings and pray than the ''new'' and smaller groups of Poles and Bulgarians. Religious continuity and decline seem less dependent on individual experiences.
    Social Science Research 05/2013; 42(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.12.016 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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