Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on ReligionInstitute for Studies of Relgion
IJRR :: 2006 Volume 2 :: Article 1
2006 Volume 2, Article 1
International Religion Indexes: Government Regulation, Government Favoritism, and Social Regulation of Religion

Author: Brian J. Grim (Pennsylvania State University), Roger Finke (Pennsylvania State University)

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The study of religion is severely handicapped by a lack of adequate cross-national data. Despite the prominence of religion in international events and recent theoretical models pointing to the consequences of regulating religion, cross-national research on religion has been lacking. We strive to fill this void by developing measurement models and indexes for government regulation, government favoritism, and social regulation of religion. The indexes rely on data from an extensive coding of the 2003 International Religious Freedom Report for 196 countries and territories. Using a series of tests to evaluate the new data and indexes, we find that the measures developed are highly reliable and valid. The three indexes will allow researchers and others to measure the government’s subsidy and regulation of religion as well as the restrictions placed on religion by social and cultural forces beyond the state.

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