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The Religion and State Project, Minorities Module, Round 3




Fox, J. (2020, April 12). The Religion and State Project, Minorities Module, Round 3.


The Religion and State (RAS) project is a university-based project located at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. The general goal is to provide detailed codings on several aspects of separation of religion and state for 183 states on a yearly basis between 1990 and 2014. This constitutes all countries with populations of 250,000 or more, as well as a sampling of countries with lower populations.

This module recodes the governmental and societal discrimination variables used in the Religion and State, Round 3 except that it uses a minority group within a state as the unit of analysis. For example, in the UK, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians, and Sikhs are all coded separately. The dataset includes all minorities which are at least 0.2% of the population as well as the following categories of minorities regardless of their population size: (1) Christians in Muslim countries, (2) Muslims in Christian countries, and (3) Jews in Christian-majority and Muslim-majority countries, where present.

Data File

Cases: 771
Variables: 2154
Weight Variable: None

Data Collection


Original Survey (Instrument)

RAS Round 3 State Minorities

Funded By

The John Templeton Foundation, Israel Science Foundation, The Sara and Simha Lainer Chair in Democracy and Civility, The Yehuda Avner Chair of Religion and Politics, and the German-Israel Foundation

Collection Procedures

In general, for each state, the coder would prepare a report on the state based on human rights reports, academic resources, as well as news media sources, primarily taken from the Lexis/Nexis database. Based on this report the coder filled out the codesheet under the supervision of myself [PI, Jonathan Fox]. This is in order to assure coder reliability. That is, one of my roles as project director has been to make sure that different coders used the same methodology and criteria when filling out the codesheets. An additional measure to ensure inter-coder reliability is our policy that about one in every four states were recoded by additional coders based on the reports discussed above and compared to the original codings.

It is important to emphasize that the main RAS codings focus on the relationship between religion and the state apparatus. For a variable to be coded, there must either be a law or a consistent government practice. In cases where the two contradict, consistent government practice was coded. These codings also represent the practice of the federal or national governments of states, and not practices by local governments. However, if a significant number of local or regional governments engage in a practice it is also coded. The societal codings focus on societal discrimination and include only discrimination from non-governmental groups, entities, and individuals in society.

Sampling Procedures

This project coded all countries which have a population of at least 250,000 as well as a sampling of countries with lower populations.

Principal Investigators

Jonathan Fox, Bar Ilan University

Related Publications

For a full listing of related publications, see the Religion and State project

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