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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Southern Economic Journal
Title Religious freedom and the unintended consequences of state religion
Volume 71
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 103-117
URL http://www.jstor.org/stable/4135313
We use a cross-section of 59 countries to examine the impact of state religion and of constitutional protection of religion on the degree of religiosity within a country. Our measure of religiosity is the percentage of the population who attend religious services at least once a week. We find that both establishment of a state religion and constitutional protection of religion have significant (and opposing) effects. The existence of a state religion reduces attendance b y 14.6-16.7%o f the total population, where as each decade of constitutional protection increases attendance b y approximately 1.2% of the population. We also find that other measures of religious regulation have significant negative effects on attendance. Ironically, the motive behind establishment of a particular state religion usually is to strengthen that religion, but the effects are ultimately to undermine the vitality of the established religion.

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