State Regulation of Religion and Muslim Religious Vitality in the Industrialized West


Journal Article

Church-state relations have captured the attention of prominent thinkers throughout history. Drawing upon the intellectual heritages of Adam Smith and Alexis de Toqueville, a “supply-side” explanation of religious participation predicts that religion will be more vibrant where it is less regulated by the state. Studies of Christian “segments” of religious markets have lent considerable empirical support to this hypothesis. This research note extends earlier research by investigating the relationship between state regulation and religious participation among the minority Muslim segments of predominantly Christian religious markets in 18 advanced industrial countries. Operationalizing Muslim religious participation by the rate at which Muslims make the “hajj” (pilgrimage) to Mecca, we find the predicted effect: Once social class is controlled, there is a powerful negative relationship between state regulation and the religious participation of Muslims. Even among Muslims in predominantly Christian societies, less state subsidy of religion produces higher levels of religious activity. © 1994, Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Chaves, M; Schraeder, PJ; Sprindys, M

Published Date

  • January 1, 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 1087 - 1097

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1468-2508

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3816

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/2132075

Citation Source

  • Scopus