Chapter 4: The determinants of religiosity among immigrants and the native born in Europe
While church attendance, and even mere affiliation to any religion, progressively diminishes in Europe, concerns have been expressed about different religious denominations and the behavior of immigrants (Davie, 2000). These concerns translate into vivid political and social debates about the cultural, and more specifically, religious integration of immigrants. This has led to banning the construction of minarets in Switzerland (2009), banning public appearance in full Islamic face veil in Belgium and in France (2010), the challenging of the ritual slaughter of animals (Halal and Kosher slaughtering practices), and challenges to male circumcision in various parts of Europe. Many of these debates presume that immigrants’ religious behavior is inherently different from that of the native born in Europe, and is particularly rigid and persistent over time. Some of the recent economic research also pointed in this direction, documenting a strong persistence of religious identity (Bisin and Verdier, 2000), and of immigrants’ religious identity in particular (Bisin et al., 2008).
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