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Low voter turnout among religious immigrants -

Low voter turnout among religious immigrants –

– In general, participation in politics among immigrants is lower than in Native Swedes, which can be largely explained by socio-economic differences in income, education level and high unemployment, says Dr. Weigian Xia of the Department of Sociology at the University of Stockholm. .

Unlike other countries

In contrast, studies by the United States and the United Kingdom have found a link between involvement in religious organizations and political participation. According to these studies, this may be due to the fact that civil society organizations, which include religious organizations, teach people how to become democratic citizens and contribute to resources and networks.

– Previous research in other countries believes that religious involvement will increase political participation, but in Sweden my research paper shows that the opposite is true, says Weijian Xia.

Immigrants who were active in religious organizations in Sweden were less politically active than those who were not religiously active, both in voting in elections and participating in political rallies or demonstrations.

High turnout in Sweden

At the same time, political participation among immigrants in Sweden is already higher than in many other countries, especially when it comes to voting, which may be the reason why the study did not find a link between the religious system and increased political participation.

The study also found that religious immigrants who were discriminated against on the basis of religion, such as persecution or persecution, were less likely to vote than those who did not. This was especially clear to Muslims in Sweden; Among the Muslims who experienced discrimination in the 2010 election, 15.1 per cent of the votes were lower than those with no experience. When the researcher took into account other factors such as socio-economics, the difference was even greater, with the turnout in this group being 20.6 percentage points lower.

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– This was expected because discrimination and harassment often weaken the self-esteem and well-being of individuals, which can prevent one from participating politically. Especially for Muslims who are a vulnerable group in the community in general, says Weiqian Xia.


Political Sociology of Religion: The Impact of Religion on Political Attitudes and Behaviors in Secular European Communities.


The role of religious involvement in mobilizing immigrant political participation in Sweden.


Weiqian Xia, researcher in the Department of Sociology at the University of Stockholm, weiqian[email protected]