ARDA Working Papers Series

Religious Freedom and Conflict: A Review of the Evidence

Roger Finke
Pennsylvania State University
Robert R. Martin
Pennsylvania State University

Religious freedoms have often been ignored in the study of social conflict. However, a new body of research on religious freedoms across the globe has begun to emerge over the last decade. This paper reviews this new body of research and argues that the denial of religious freedoms results in higher levels of violence both against religions and by religious groups. We explore these relationships through a number of national case studies, and show how both government and societal restrictions on religion exacerbate conflict within states.

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