Are Practicing Catholics More Tolerant of Other Religions than the Rest of the World? Comparative Analyses Based on World Values Survey Data

Posted: 28 Nov 2017

See all articles by Arno Tausch

Arno Tausch

University of Innsbruck - Department of Political Science; Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration

Date Written: November 21, 2017

Abstract

Our article developed a new Indicator of Global Tolerance, and analyzed the performance of the practicing Roman Catholics in comparison to the national performances.

Based on the latest survey wave of the World Values Survey (2015) we first show how much religious tolerance or intolerance shapes public opinion in the individual countries of the world. We then ask ourselves whether or not active, practicing Roman Catholics, who attend Church Services each Sunday (in Catholic jargon the Dominicantes) are more or less tolerant than overall society concerning our chosen tolerance indicators:

1) disagree or strongly disagree: The only acceptable religion is my religion;

2) agree or strongly agree: All religions should be taught in public schools;

3) agree or strongly agree: People who belong to different religions are probably just as moral as those who belong to mine; 4) trust completely or somewhat: people of another religion;

5) meaning of religion: do good to other people.

While practicing Roman Catholics in the Netherlands, Australia, Uruguay, South Korea, and the United States were really at the forefront of national tolerance development, practicing Roman Catholics in the Ukraine, Spain, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Belarus were among the laggards in accepting the values of religious tolerance among their fellow countrymen and countrywomen. Our article has also shown that there are vast differences in the sharing of religious tolerance values around the globe. For the 59 states of the world there are complete data. While e.g. in Sweden and the United States 30% or less of the population have no confidence in people with a religious denomination other than their own, these percentages in Algeria; Armenia; Yemen; Kyrgyzstan; Libya; Morocco; Mexico; Palestine (occupied territories); Peru; Romania; Tunisia; and Uzbekistan are over 70% each. Among the ten states with the lowest general religious tolerance, based on our five indicators, there are nine predominantly Muslim states.

According to our data, the religiously most liberal Catholic community in the world is found in the Caribbean state of Trinidad and Tobago, followed by the practicing Catholics in Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and the United States. The worst results were reported in Peru, Lebanon, Mexico, Germany and Nigeria. It is also being mentioned that there are equally substantial ranges of examples of best and worst practice within the Muslim communities of the world.

The disappointing results for Germany both at the national level and at the level of the practicing Roman Catholics and the German Muslim community bode ill for the future capability of Germany to integrate the millions of refugees, which came to Germany since the beginnings of the European Refugee Crisis in the fall of 2015.

Keywords: Relation of Economics to Social Values, Cultural Economics, Religion  

JEL Classification: A13, Z1, Z12 

Suggested Citation

Tausch, Arno, Are Practicing Catholics More Tolerant of Other Religions than the Rest of the World? Comparative Analyses Based on World Values Survey Data (November 21, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075315 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3075315

Arno Tausch (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck - Department of Political Science ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 15
Innsbruck, Tirol 6020
Austria

Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration ( email )

Budapest H-1093
Hungary

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