International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Factors Hindering Religious Freedom: International Evidence
Abbas P. Grammy, Isabella Kasselstrand

In this paper, we explore the socioeconomic factors that hinder religious freedom. In doing so, we model religious regulation as a function of several socioeconomic variables for 142 countries. We find that both social and economic factors hinder religious freedom. Interestingly, our results illustrate that Christianity exerts a negative effect and Islam a positive effect on regulation of religion. However, the practice of Buddhism/Hinduism wields no significant effect on religious control. We argue that governmental regulation of religion may be modified by a regime change or constitutional reform. It is plausible that a progressive government or a reformed constitution to advocate religious freedom. Even with the softening of governmental control, cultural prejudices hostile to newer or diverse religions could prevail for many years.

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