Impact of Immigration on Religious Beliefs Essay

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Immigration on Religious Beliefs

Religiosity is far higher in the United States than in other highly developed nations. The likelihood of an American professing a religion and regularly attending services is high. Religious participation was a critical component of the process of people becoming Americans as churches were an important pillar in the social structure. Churches support and sustain communities while also facilitating inter-ethnic marriage within the three most significant religious groups: Jews, Catholics and Protestants (Massey and Higgins). Not many immigrants arrive in America expecting to alter the religion they are affiliated to. Their focus is often achieving a respectable financial standing in the society and building a better life for themselves and their families (Chiswick).

Effects on the Distribution of Religious Groups: Immigration, Religion and Economics

In a pluralistic nation, religious communities may be viewed as markets for religious services and goods without the secular characteristics that come with a traditional economic market. The advantages or benefits of immigration may also be influenced by religion. For instance, where a religious group resides in an area where they are a minority and they are persecuted by the majority, either economically or social-justice-wise, they may be motivated to migrate to a region or economy that can allow them to thrive because of, or in spite of, their religion.

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There are therefore huge economic incentives for members of the persecuted group to move to a more accepting society such as the United States. The United States happens to be tolerant of different peoples' political and religious views and so affords people a friendlier surrounding and environment to practice their religious activities while also getting a chance to pursue their economic interests (Chiswick).

The conditions of the hosting nation are likely to affect religious participation for the people moving in. Factors such as the percentage of immigrant population, number of co-religionists and general local diversity will likely affect religious participation. Generally, the more there are people that share the same religion in one place, the higher religious participation is (Massey and Higgins).

Research indicates that religious affiliation remains a key identity marker for immigrants coming into the U.S. Nonetheless, the ways and level of integration among the various religious groups vary. Different groups place different emphasis on various aspects of their religion they can't let go of or what lifestyle choices of the hosting people they can't accept.

As immigration has increased….....

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Chiswick, Carmel. "Immigrants and Religion." The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) (2014).

Massey, Douglas and Monica Espinoza Higgins. "The Effect of Immigration on Religious Belief and Practice: A Theologizing or Alienating Experience?" Social Science Research (2011): 1371 - 1389.

Yang, Fenngang and Ahelen Rose Ebaugh. "Religion and Ethnicity Among New Immigrants: The Impact of Majority /minority Status in Home and Host Countries." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion (2014): 367 - 378.

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