• Validation of a Novel Instrument to Measure Elements of Franciscan-Inspired Spirituality in a General Population and in Religious Persons

      Arndt Büssing; Markus Warode; Mareike Gerundt; Thomas Dienberg (MDPI AG, 2017-09-01)
      Today there are several approaches for bringing mindfulness, which conceptually refers to the Buddhist Vipassana tradition, into organizations. Programs referring to value-based attitudes and behaviors derived from specific Christian contexts are rarely evaluated. A prerequisite are reliable instruments for measuring the respective outcomes. We therefore performed a cross-sectional study among 418 participants to validate an instrument measuring specific aspects of Franciscan-inspired spirituality (FraSpir), particularly the core dimensions and transformative outcomes. Exploratory factor analysis of this FraSpir questionnaire with 26 items pointed to four main factors (i.e., “Live from Faith/Search for God”; “Peaceful attitude/Respectful Treatment”; “Commitment to Disadvantaged and Creation”; “Attitude of Poverty”). Their internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) ranged from 0.79 to 0.97. With respect to convergent validity, there were sound correlations with engagement in religious practices, gratitude and awe, and prosocial-humanistic practices. The 26-item instrument was found to be a reliable and valid instrument for use in training and education programs. Interestingly, nuns and monks scored significantly higher on the Faith and Poverty subscales than others, but similarly on the two subscales addressing considerate action in the world. These attitudes and behaviors are not exclusively valued by those of religious faith, but by all.
    • Validation of the Abrahamic Forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS-5, CRS-10, and CRS-15): Evidence from Selected University Students in the Philippines

      Fides del Castillo; Clarence Darro del Castillo; Gregory Ching; Michael Ackert; Marie Antoinette Aliño; Rene Nob (MDPI AG, 2021-01-01)
      The Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) is an instrument that measures the centrality, importance, or salience of religious meanings in personality. Addressing the dearth of research on the salience of religion among Filipino Christian youths, the researchers explore in this paper the degree of religiosity of selected university students and the relevance of religious beliefs in their daily life by validating the Abrahamic forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS-5, CRS-10, and CRS-15). This paper specifically answers the following questions: (1) What CRS version is valid for Filipino Christian youths? (2) What is the position of the religious construct-system among selected Filipino Christian university students? and (3) How does the centrality of religiosity influences the selected Filipino Christian university students’ subjective experience and behavior? Means and standard deviations were calculated for the five subscales of the centrality of religiosity for CRS-5, CRS-10, and CRS-15. The distribution of the subscale scores was also computed using measures of skewness and kurtosis. Cronbach’s α values are provided for each of the subscales to establish internal consistency. Descriptive statistics were also computed with the use of the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) software version 20. Bivariate correlations are reported for all CRS-15 items. This paper established that in a predominantly Christian country such as the Philippines, the CRS-15 is suitable in measuring the centrality of religiosity among Filipino Christian youths.
    • Validation of the Chinese Version of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS): Teacher Perspectives

      John Chi-Kin Lee; Xiaoxue Kuang (MDPI AG, 2020-05-01)
      This study applied the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) to the context of Hong Kong as a part of China with the focus on a specific target group of teachers in primary and secondary schools. For the validation of the scale in the Hong Kong context, the version of CRSi-20 was tested with data collected from local teachers (N = 671). For the validation of the scale, six versions were tested (CRSi-20, CRS-15, CRSi-14, CRS-10, CRSi-7, and CRS-5). Confirmatory Factor Analysis demonstrated that the single-factor solution of five items (CRS-5) had better fit indices than the seven-item version (CRSi-7), which, in turn, was better than CRS-15 with a five-factor solution (Intellect, Ideology, Private Practice, Public Practice, and Religious Experience). The other three versions encountered a problem with high correlations between factors. Multiple-indicators multiple-causes (MIMIC) analysis was used to test the effect of covariates on the established factor structure for CRS-5, CRSi-7, and CRS-15. The results indicated that gender and religious belief are significant predictors of the centrality of religiosity scores for CRS-5, CRSi-7, and CRS-15. In addition, age was a positive predictor for public practice, and teachers’ education level was positively related to private practice for CRS-15. Implications regarding understanding for the existing literature are discussed.
    • Validation of the Gratitude/Awe Questionnaire and Its Association with Disposition of Gratefulness

      Arndt Büssing; Daniela R. Recchia; Klaus Baumann (MDPI AG, 2018-04-01)
      Self-transcendent feelings such as gratitude, compassion, and awe are highly relevant for human societies. So far, empirical research has focused more on the relational aspects of these feelings (concrete persons), and less on the spiritual aspects referring to the Sacred in a person’s life. We intended to validate an extended version of the former three-item Gratitude/Awe scale. This extended scale was designed with a focus on the experiential aspects of being moved and touched by certain moments and places/nature, on related reactions of pausing with daily activities, and on the subsequent feelings of awe and gratitude. Enrolling 183 test persons (67% women; 59% with a Christian confession) in a cross-sectional study, we can confirm that the seven-item Gratitude/Awe scale (GrAw-7) has good psychometric properties (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.82) and moderate correlation (r = 0.42) with grateful disposition (GQ-6 questionnaire). Structured equation modeling (SEM) confirmed that both constructs, although moderately related, are different. While Gratitude/Awe was best predicted by the frequency of meditation practice, a grateful disposition was best predicted by the frequency of praying and by general life satisfaction. The GrAw-7 scale is not contaminated with specific religious topics or quality of life issues, and can be easily implemented in larger studies.
    • Validation of the Interreligious Forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRSi-7, CRSi-14, and CRSi-20): Salience of Religion among Selected Youth in the Philippines

      Fides del Castillo; Clarence Darro del Castillo; Marie Antoinette Aliño; Rene Nob; Michael Ackert; Gregory Ching (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
      The presence of different religions and the freedom of people to navigate the religious space shows that religion in the Philippines is not a monolithic entity. This study validated three versions of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRSi-7, -14, and -20) which propose an adequate assessment tool for the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in Philippine society. The sample (N = 514) was drawn from the young population of the country in an online survey. Descriptive statistics and Cronbach’s alpha values were calculated for the five subscales (ideology, intellect, experience, private and public practice) of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale. The factor structure of the interreligious Centrality of Religiosity Scale was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. The results show that CRSi-7 denotes internal consistency while CRSi-14 and CRSi-20 indicate good internal consistency. Models of CRSi-7, -14, and -20 show a good global fit. Despite two models of the CRSi-20 being identical in fit, the researchers defer to the CRSi-20 model with correlated factors since it is a simpler model. All versions of the CRSi demonstrate a valid and reliable measure for the centrality of religiosity in the Philippines and support the usefulness of the CRS for the study of religiosity.
    • Validation of the Interreligious Forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale in Taiwan: Perspectives from Selected University Students

      Fides del Castillo; Inna Reddy Edara; Gregory Ching; Clarence Darro del Castillo (MDPI AG, 2021-01-01)
      This study validated three versions of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRSi-7, -14, and -20), which propose an adequate assessment tool for the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in Taiwan’s society. The sample (<i>N</i> = 331) was drawn from the selected undergraduate university students of the country. Descriptive statistics and Cronbach’s alpha values were calculated for the five subscales (ideology, intellect, experience, private and public practice) of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale. The factor structure of the interreligious Centrality of Religiosity Scale was tested using confirmatory factor analysis. The current study utilized the CRSi-14 model 3 as the basis for later analysis. All items have loaded significantly in the different subscales with internal consistency within the acceptable values. Findings show that the selected Taiwanese youth are religious.
    • Validation of the Short Forms of Centrality of Religiosity Scale in Russia

      Michael Ackert; Elena Prutskova; Ivan Zabaev (MDPI AG, 2020-11-01)
      Since the end of the Soviet Union, Christian Orthodoxy has regained importance in Russian society. Considering the religious dynamics in the decades after 1990, scholars working in the field have been debating about a reliable measuring tool for religiosity. The present study provides a validation of two short forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS), the CRS-5, and CRSi-7 in Russia, as well as its corresponding translated items. Therefore, data from two large-scale sociological surveys from 2008 (<i>N</i> = 894) and 2019 (<i>N</i> = 1768) were used. A multigroup confirmatory factor analysis with restrictions on the variance and covariance structure of the model shows good results in terms of absolute, parsimony, and relative model fit for the CRS-5 and CRSi-7. Moreover, the models indicate time-invariance, which is a consistent psychometric characteristic of both short forms. The time-invariance is accompanied by the good internal consistency of the scales: The CRS-5 with <inline-formula><math display="inline"><semantics><mrow><mi>α</mi><mo>=</mo><mn>0.85</mn></mrow></semantics></math></inline-formula> and the CRSi-7 with <inline-formula><math display="inline"><semantics><mrow><mi>α</mi><mo>=</mo><mn>0.84</mn></mrow></semantics></math></inline-formula>. The results of the analysis encourage the use of the CRS-5 and the CRSi-7 for research on religiosity in Russia. While the CRS-5 is especially suitable for the Orthodox-dominated religious landscape, the CRSi-7 should be used if non-monotheistic private religious practice and religious experience are the focus of the scientific investigation.
    • Validation of the Short Forms of the Centrality of Religiosity Scale in Georgia

      Michael Ackert; Erekle Maglakelidze; Irina Badurashvili; Stefan Huber (MDPI AG, 2020-01-01)
      This study presents the validation of the short forms of Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS) in Georgia. This country offers a unique Christian orthodox context with a long-lasting religious tradition and strong affiliation to churches. Translated short forms were administered in the years 2012 (CRS-5) and 2018 (CRSi-7). Participants reported on ideological, intellectual, and experiential aspects of their faith and their private and public religious practice in face-to-face interviews. The collected data was subject to reliability analyses. Scale invariance over time was tested with the CRS-5, whereas the CRSi-7 was examined for model goodness, with one factor—Centrality of Religiosity—with a confirmatory factor analysis. Derived statistical coefficients from large stratified random populational samples (2012: <i>N</i> = 2238 and 2018: <i>N</i> = 1906) show good to acceptable Cronbach’s αs (α = 0.73 and α = 0.67). The composite scores’ means and standard deviations contour norm values for further investigations in social sciences related to religiosity in Georgia. The results of the confirmatory factor analyses show that the Centrality of Religiosity manifests a stable factor, adequately explaining different dimensions of faith life. The high reliability of the CRS-5 over time leads to the conclusion of consistent measurement characteristics and thus, its suitability for longitudinal analysis. The CRSi-7 has a comparable model fit to the CRS-5 providing an alternative for interreligious contexts if needed. Aspects of assessment and analysis are discussed and reasons for the application of the longer version of the CRS are provided in the end.
    • Validation of the Spiritual Distress Scale in Portuguese Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy: A Methodological Study

      Helga Martins; Sílvia Caldeira; Tiago Dias Domingues; Margarida Vieira; Ya-Lie Ku (MDPI AG, 2019-10-01)
      Spiritual distress may ascend from unmet spiritual needs. The use of instruments to measure spiritual distress seems to facilitate the approach to spirituality, such as the Spiritual Distress Scale (SDS) that has been used worldwide. No instrument to assess spiritual distress in cancer patients is currently available in Portugal. This study aims to conduct the translation, adaptation and validation of the SDS in Portuguese cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Methodological study based on Sousa and Rojjanasrirat (2011), a seven-step approach, started with the linguistic translation to the psychometric tests. The main participants (55.4%) were older than 60 years; about 64.7% were females, married (68.0%), and 86.7% were Catholic. Moderate spiritual distress was experienced by 49.3% of the participants. Linguistic and conceptual equivalences were obtained. The SDS European Portuguese version has an overall Cronbach’s alpha of 0.91, and the subscales were as follows: “relationship with self” (0.92), “relationship with others” (0.63), “relationship with God” (0.64) and “facing death” (0.85). Four factors emerged after Varimax rotation. Overall, these results indicate that the SDS European Portuguese version has good psychometric characteristics and can used in assessing spiritual distress in cancer patients.
    • Validation of the SpREUK—Religious Practices Questionnaire as a Measure of Christian Religious Practices in a General Population and in Religious Persons

      Arndt Büssing; Daniela R. Recchia; Mareike Gerundt; Markus Warode; Thomas Dienberg (MDPI AG, 2017-12-01)
      Measures of spirituality should be multidimensional and inclusive and as such be applicable to persons with different worldviews and spiritual-religious beliefs and attitudes. Nevertheless, for distinct research purposes it may be relevant to more accurately differentiate specific religious practices, rituals and behaviors. It was thus the aim of this study to validate a variant version of the SpREUK-P questionnaire (which measures frequency of engagement in a large spectrum of organized and private religious, spiritual, existential and philosophical practices). This variant version was enriched with items addressing specific rituals and practices of Catholic religiosity, by further differentiating items of praying and meditation. The instrument was then tested in a sample of Catholics (inclusively nuns and monks), Protestants, and in non-religious persons. This 23-item SpREUK-RP (Religious Practices) questionnaire has four factors (i.e., Prosocial-Humanistic practices; General religious practices; Catholic religious practices; Existentialistic practices/Gratitude and Awe) and good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha ranging from 0.84 to 0.94). An advantage of this instrument is that it is not generally contaminated with items related to persons’ well-being, and it is not intermixed with specific religious attitudes and convictions.
    • Validity and Reliability of a Revised Scale of Attitude towards Buddhism (TSAB-R)

      Phra Nicholas Thanissaro (MDPI AG, 2016-04-01)
      The empirical properties of a revised 24-item instrument called the Thanissaro Scale of Attitude towards Buddhism (TSAB-R) designed to measure Buddhist affective religiosity are described. The instrument was tested on adolescents and teenagers in the UK. Discriminant validity of the instrument was found satisfactory in relation to Buddhist affiliation and content validity in relation to religious involvement with temple attendance, scripture reading, meditation, having had a religious or spiritual experience and religious style. Unlike Christians, for Buddhists, affective religiosity was found to vary independently from age and sex. The differential between heritage and convert religious style of Buddhism was linked to the perceived affective religiosity of the Buddhist features of the home shrine and bowing to parents. Factor analysis revealed two subscales within the instrument for intellectual and affective components. With confirmation of the validity and reliability of the revised scale, the instrument is commended for measurement of Buddhist affective religiosity with adults and children down to the age of 13 years.
    • Validity and Reliability of the Hebrew Version of the SpREUK Questionnaire for Religiosity, Spirituality and Health: An Application for Oral Diseases

      Harold D. Sgan-Cohen; Arndt Büssing; Avraham Zini (MDPI AG, 2010-12-01)
      Background: Research has examined the connection between religiosity, spirituality (SpR) and health, and the potential of these variables to prevent, heal and cope with disease. Research indicated that participation in religious meetings or services was associated with a lower risk of developing oral disease. We intended to test a Hebrew version of the SpREUK 1.1 questionnaire, which is reported to be a reliable and valid measure of distinctive issues of SpR, and to test its relevance in the context of oral illness among a Jewish population. Methods: In order to validate the SpREUK-Hebrew instrument, minor translational and cultural/religious adaptations were applied. Reliability and factor analyses were performed, using standard procedures, among 134 Jewish Israeli subjects (mean age 38.4 years). Results: Analysis of reliability for internal consistency demonstrated an intra-class correlation of Cronbach's alpha = 0.90 for the intrinsic religiosity/spiritual and the appraisal scales, and of 0.90 for the support through spirituality/religiosity scales. Inter reliability agreement by kappa ranged between 0.7 and 0.9. We were able to approve the previously described factorial structure, albeit with some unique characteristics in the Jewish population. Individuals´ time spent on spiritual activity correlated with the SpREUK scales. The instrument discriminated well between religious subgroups (i.e., ultra Orthodox, conventional religious and less-religious). Preliminary results indicate an association between measures of spirituality and oral health. Conclusions: The traditional and cultural adaptation of the tool was found to be appropriate. SpREUK-Hebrew was reliable and valid among a Jewish population. This method could therefore be employed in comparative studies among different cultural and religious backgrounds.
    • Varieties of Buddhist Healing in Multiethnic Philadelphia

      C. Pierce Salguero (MDPI AG, 2019-01-01)
      While an increasing amount of attention has been paid in the last decade to mindfulness meditation, the broader impact of Buddhism on healthcare in the United States, or any industrialized Western countries, is still much in need of scholarly investigation. The current article presents preliminary results from an ethnographic study exploring the impact of a wide range of Buddhist institutions, practices, and cultural orientations on the healthcare landscape of the Philadelphia metropolitan area. By particularly focusing on segments of the population that are non-white and that have limited English language skills, one of the main goals of this project is to bring more diverse voices into the contemporary conversation about Buddhism and wellbeing in America. Moreover, as it extends far beyond the topic of meditation, this study also is intended to highlight a wider range of practices and orientations toward health and healing that are current in contemporary American Buddhism. Finally, this paper also forwards the argument that the study of these activities should be grounded in an appreciation of how individual Buddhist institutions are situated within specific local contexts, and reflect unique configurations of local factors.
    • Varieties of Quest and the Religious Openness Hypothesis within Religious Fundamentalist and Biblical Foundationalist Ideological Surrounds

      P. J. Watson; Zhuo Chen; Ronald J. Morris (MDPI AG, 2013-12-01)
      According to the Religious Openness Hypothesis, the religious and psychological openness of American Christians is obscured by a defensive ghettoization of thought associated with a Religious Fundamentalist Ideological Surround and can be discovered instead within a Biblical Foundationalist Ideological Surround. A test of this claim examined Religious Fundamentalism, Biblical Foundationalism, Quest, and Multidimensional Quest Scales in 432 undergraduates. Christian Religious Reflection, Religious Schema, and Religious Orientation measures clarified these two ideological surrounds. Partial correlations controlling for Biblical Foundationalism described a Religious Fundamentalist Ideological Surround that more strongly rejected Quest and that more generally displayed a failure to integrate faith with intellect. Partial correlations controlling for Religious Fundamentalism revealed a Biblical Foundationalist Ideological Surround that was more open to Quest and that offered numerous demonstrations of an ability to unite faith with intellect. These data supplemented previous investigations in demonstrating that Christianity and other traditional religions have ideological resources for promoting a faithful intellect.
    • Vegan YouTubers Performing Ethical Beliefs

      Kim Harding; Abby Day (MDPI AG, 2021-12-01)
      In Great Britain, “religion or belief” is one of nine “protected characteristics” under the Equality Act 2010, which protects citizens from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. This paper begins with a discussion about a 2020 ruling, “Jordi Casamitjana vs. LACS”, which concluded that ethical vegans are entitled to similar legal protections in British workplaces as those who hold philosophical religious beliefs. While not all vegans hold a philosophical belief to the same extent as Casamitjana, the ruling is significant and will be of interest to scholars investigating non-religious ethical beliefs. To explore this, we have analysed a sample of YouTube videos on the theme of “my vegan story”, showing how vloggers circulate narratives about ethical veganism and the process of their conversion to vegan beliefs and practices. The story format can be understood as what Abby Day has described as a performative “belief narrative”, offering a greater opportunity to understand research participants’ beliefs and related identities than, for example, findings from a closed-question survey. We suggest that through performative acts, YouTubers create “ethical beliefs” through the social, mediatised, transformative, performative and relational practice of their digital content. In doing so, we incorporate a digital perspective to enrich academic discussions of non-religious beliefs.
    • Vernacular Politics, Sectarianism, and National Identity among Syrian Refugees in Jordan

      Sarah A. Tobin (MDPI AG, 2018-07-01)
      In Jordan—home to some one million Syrian refugees—the vital roles played by vernacular politics, discourses of inclusion and exclusion, and sectarian social histories for Syrians are often considered unimportant when examining possibilities for integration or coexistence. Based on ethnographic research and participation in women’s religion classes in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan in 2014, I argue that while sectarian identities may not in and of themselves appear to divide the majority of Syrian refugees in Jordan from the majority of Jordanian residents (as Sunni Muslims), through utilizing a vernacular politics theoretical perspective I reveal that the sectarian orientations and localized histories of Syrian refugees have an understudied potential to create new forms of divisiveness in Jordanian society. To dismiss any concerns raised, Jordanians reinforce the idea that sectarian discourses, in an objectified sense, are not welcome in Jordan, and that they are even—as a few asserted—“against Islam”. These differing national experiences with vernacular politics expressed in sectarian terms prompt Jordanians to reinforce the narrative that Jordan is free of such divisions, and will continue to remain so. This paper concludes by discussing the implications for national–transnational tensions.
    • Vernacular “Fiction” and Celestial Script: A Daoist Manual for the Use of <i>Water Margin</i>

      Mark Meulenbeld (MDPI AG, 2019-09-01)
      This article maps out a sphere of ritual practice that recognizably serves as a framework for the famous Ming dynasty (1368−1644) vernacular narrative <i>Water Margin</i> (水滸傳 <i>Shuihu zhuan</i>). By establishing a set of primary referents that are ritual in nature, I question the habit of applying the modern category of “literary fiction” in a universalizing, secular way, marginalizing or metaphorizing Daoist elements. I argue that literary analysis can only be fruitful if it is done within the parameters of ritual. Although I tie the story’s ritual framework to specific Daoist procedures for imprisoning demonic spirits throughout the article, my initial focus is on a genre of revelatory writing known as “celestial script” (天書 <i>tianshu</i>). This type of script is given much attention at important moments in the story and it is simultaneously known from Daoist ritual texts. I show a firm link between <i>Water Margin</i> and the uses of “celestial script” by presenting a nineteenth century Daoist ordination manual that contains “celestial script” for each of <i>Water Margin</i>’s 108 heroic protagonists.
    • “Vibrating between Hope and Fear”: The European War and American Presbyterian Foreign Missions

      Scott P. Libson (MDPI AG, 2018-07-01)
      Scholars have argued that World War I and its aftermath caused a rapid transformation in American global philanthropy. The decline of the American “moral empire” coincided with the rise of professional, bureaucratic, and secular philanthropy. The reasons for this transformation appear almost self-evident: the crisis greatly exceeded the capabilities of all private organizations, leading to the growth of state-supported, public, and semi-public organizations like the American Red Cross. In fact, though, mainline foreign missions grew rapidly after the war and did not decline until the Great Depression. In 1920, for instance, they combined to receive over 80 percent of Red Cross receipts. Even amid the decline of the “moral empire”, therefore, mainline foreign missions remained major sources of philanthropic aid and primary representatives of American interests abroad. This article looks at the hopes and fears of Presbyterian (USA) foreign missions in the years before American entry into the (imprecisely named) European War, in order to understand the resilience of foreign missions during a period of crisis. The war created numerous practical, financial, and conceptual challenges. But, it also inspired the mission boards to seek greater sacrifices among donors, to coordinate with other boards and the federal government, and to find alternative methods to achieve its goals. These efforts in the first half of the 1910s prefigured a nationwide transformation in ideas about service and voluntary giving. After the United States entered the war, these “social goods” became nearly obligatory in the minds of many Americans.
    • Victim to Victor: The Appeal of Apocalyptic Hope

      Robyn Whitaker (MDPI AG, 2020-09-01)
      Jewish apocalyptic literature emerged as a form of resistance literature during the intertestamental period. A product of marginalized communities, such literature is highly political, articulating the worldview of the politically oppressed and those who considered their religious freedoms to be under threat. As resistance literature, apocalypses cathartically utilize vivid descriptions of violence and poetic symbols of hope to encourage those who identify as victims to maintain their resistance to political pressure or injustice. This paper explores the ways the Christian Book of Revelation builds on this tradition to envisage hope in the face of systemic evil, political oppression, and injustice. Neither the noun nor verb for hope appear in Revelation, yet its eschatological vision of vindication, victory, and shared rule in New Jerusalem for those who are oppressed has inspired many Christians to hope for a new world order with significant implications for the present. After considering the historical context of Revelation, this paper will examine the ways the apocalyptic imagination of Revelation continues to be invoked and (mis)used in contemporary Christianized political discourse. I argue that the Book of Revelation continues to appeal precisely because it offers a framework for believing that the victim will become the victor in the eschaton.
    • Views on Religious Freedom among Young People in Belarus and Norway: Similarities and Contrasts

      Olga Breskaya; Pål Ketil Botvar (MDPI AG, 2019-05-01)
      The study of religious freedom has not received sufficient empirical attention from sociologists of religion, despite significant theoretical discussion of the governance of religious freedom. This article suggests empirical findings about the views on religious freedom in Belarus and Norway from the international research project “Religion and Human Rights.” The authors explore the effects of religiosity, spirituality, and cultural diversity on young people’s views of religious freedom in two countries. The comparative data from Belarus (N = 677) and Norway (N = 1001) examine patterns of attitudes towards religious freedom considering the effect of trust in institutions within democratic and non-democratic regimes. This two-country analysis reveals that religiosity, cultural diversity and trust in institutions exert a notable influence on religious freedom views in different ways in Belarus and Norway, on both non-religious young people and those from religious minorities.