Religion and prejudice toward immigrants and refugees: A meta-analytic review

Journal article

Deslandes, Christine and Anderson, Joel R.. (2019) Religion and prejudice toward immigrants and refugees: A meta-analytic review. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 29(2), pp. 128 - 145.
AuthorsDeslandes, Christine and Anderson, Joel R.

Religion is often a driving force in negative attitudes; however, in the specific case of migrant-based attitudes, research has produced conflicting findings. That is, religion can paradoxically facilitate either tolerance or intolerance toward this group. In light of these inconsistent findings, we conducted a meta-analytic review to estimate the effect size of this relationship with two major aims—first, to explore differences as a function of how religion was operationalised, and second, to explore differences in the target migrant-type (e.g., differences in religion-based attitudes toward immigrants and refugees/asylum seekers). Our search strategy was applied to PsycINFO, EBSCO Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, Web of Science, PsycEXTRA, and ProQuest Central for peer-reviewed English language studies and made calls for unpublished data through relevant professional bodies. This search strategy yielded 37 records (including 43 studies; N = 472,688). Religion was quantified in two ways: either as categorical religious affiliations (k = 60) or as individual differences in self-reported religiosity (k = 30). The meta-analyses revealed that religion quantified as affiliation, but not religiosity, was related to negative migrant attitudes. Specifically, religiously affiliated samples report more negative attitudes than nonreligious affiliated samples, and this effect was often stronger when the target groups were refugees rather than immigrants. In addition, analyses revealed that Muslims have more negative attitudes toward migrants than Christians. Religiosity was unrelated to negative attitudes. These findings are discussed in light of rising antimigrant attitudes.

JournalInternational Journal for the Psychology of Religion
Journal citation29 (2), pp. 128 - 145
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85062371701
Page range128 - 145
Research GroupSchool of Philosophy
Place of publicationUnited States of America
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