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Sacralization by stealth

Author(s): Eric Kaufmann
Date: 02 July 2007

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What are the political implications of differences in growth rates between secular and religious populations in western Europe? Dr Kaufmann’s paper claims that demographic factors can lead to a reversal of the secularisation process and to growing religiosity in society even if religious apostates outnumber converts.

The secular population of western Europe might grow through defection from the religious population and from the minority of immigrants who are secular. But the main engines of religious population growth in western Europe are more powerful: religious immigrants and higher fertility. Native-born west Europeans who declare themselves ‘religious’ form about half the adult population in six north-western European countries studied by the author.

israel europeanjews europe identity community assimilation secularisation religiouspractice