Prayers and Politics: non-religious, Christians, Muslims and political participation in Western Europe
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As cornerstone of liberal democracies, political participation is necessary among all social groups. The participation levels of Christians, Muslims and non-religious people in a subset of Western European countries are analyzed through their political trust, service attendance and perceived religious discrimination levels. A distinction is made between institutionalized (IPP) and non-institutionalized forms of participation (NPP). The analyses are realized through the comprehensive 8th wave European Social Survey dataset (N = 14.298). A number of conclusions are derived; probabilities on IPP significantly differ, where Christians score the highest, followed by non-religious people and at last Muslims, as well as that service attendance has a positive effect on these probabilities for the religious. Also, perceived religious discrimination has a positive effect for Muslims and a negative effect for Christians on their probabilities of IPP. An informative conclusion on NPP items taken as a whole cannot be derived, but interesting results emerge when these are analyzed separately. Christians have higher estimated probabilities on ‘working in non-political organizations’, Muslims have higher estimated probabilities on ‘joining demonstrations’ and ‘online activity’, and non-religious people have higher probabilities on ‘signing petitions’. Differences in ‘wearing badges’ and ‘boycotting’ are less evident. This research shows that religious groups’ political participation varies depending on the type of behavior examined.