Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/162760
Title: Paradoxes of pluralism, privilege, and persecution: explaining christian growth and decline worldwide
Authors: Saiya, Nilay
Manchanda, Stuti
Keywords: Social sciences::Sociology
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Saiya, N. & Manchanda, S. (2022). Paradoxes of pluralism, privilege, and persecution: explaining christian growth and decline worldwide. Sociology of Religion, 83(1), 60-78. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srab006
Journal: Sociology of Religion
Abstract: This article examines the effect of church-state relations on rates of Christian population growth or decline worldwide. It makes the paradoxical argument that contexts of both pluralism and persecution do not impede Christian growth rates. In these environments, Christians do not have the luxury of becoming complacent. On one hand, pluralism means that Christianity must actively compete with other faith traditions in order to gain and maintain adherents. On the other hand, persecution can, paradoxically, sometimes strengthen Christianity by deepening attachments to faith and reinforcing solidarity among Christians. Rather, it is a third type of relationship-privilege, or state support for Christianity-that corresponds to the greatest threat to growth in Christianity. Countries where Christianity is privileged by the state encourage apathy and the politicization of religion, resulting in a less dynamic faith and the overall decline of Christian populations. We test these propositions using a cross-national, time-series analysis of a global sample of countries from 2010 to 2020. Our findings provide support for our theory that Christianity suffers in contexts of privilege but not in environments of pluralism or persecution. The finding is robust to a number of model specifications and statistical approaches.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/162760
ISSN: 1069-4404
DOI: 10.1093/socrel/srab006
Rights: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association for the Sociology of Religion. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Journal Articles

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