Ethnicity and Religion

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A study by the Policy Studies Institute found that 74% of Muslim respondents said that religion was very important. This compared with around 45% of Hindus and Sikhs. In contrast, only 11% of white people described themselves as belonging to the Church of England. Amongst Muslim men over the age of 35, four in five reported that they visit mosque at least once every week. Data from the 1991 census demonstrates that Britain is ethnically diverse, there is a wide range of ethnic groups with different religious affiliations, and there are more ethnic groups than identified in the census data Modood and Berthoud (1997) analysed the 1991 Census data on ethnicity they suggest that ethnicity comprises: 1.Subjective identification: with which ethnicity do I and my group identify? 2.Religious identification; to what extent does it help construct ethnicity?

A number of general points can be made about religious affiliation among ethnic minority groups; that is, those people comprising the 5.49% of the population identified in the Census as non-white.

Most ethnic groups are more religious than the majority of the population. The table below shows the results of a survey conducted in Britain which asked respondents to state their religious affiliation. Measuring Religious Affiliation (%)

White
(exc Irish)IrishCaribbeanIndianAfrican AsianPakistaniBangladeshiChinese None311428522158
Hindu--13258-2-
Sikh---5019---
Muslim--16159695-
Christian68856953-123
Other113232119
Weighted count275511015671292799862285391
Unweighted Count2746119120512737281185591214
Source: Modood and Berthoud (1997)
Modood and Berthoud (1997) show that there are gender differences in religion affiliation among the some ethnic minority groups. For example, 75% of Afro-Caribbean women said they were religious, compared with less than 66% of the men. There are also age related differences, with religiosity...
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