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Increase or Decrease? The Impact of the International Migratory Event on Immigrant Religious Participation

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Immigrant religiosity has recently become a hot topic both in academia and in the public arena. For years, a debate has existed as to whether there is an increase or decrease of immigrant religious participation surrounding the migratory event. Some argue that the act of migration spurs an increase in immigrant religious participation, while others contend that migration is a disruptive event and decreases immigrant religious participation. In addition to contextual factors, a number of micro-level factors may explain this change in religious participation: sex, family composition, religious affiliation, and employment status. This article uses longitudinal data from Quebec, Canada surveying nearly 1,000 immigrants during the 1990s. Results indicate that immigrant religious participation decreases substantially as compared to the average level of religious participation among the same immigrants prior to their migration. Besides religious affiliation, most of the micro-level factors hypothesized to explain this change in religious participation prove statistically insignificant. The lack of significant results for micro-level factors points to environmental factors that may be at work.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Phillip Connor is a graduate student in sociology at Princeton University.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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