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Decline, revival, change? Religious adaptations among Muslim and non-Muslim immigrant origin youth in Norway

Jon Horgen Friberg og Erika Braanen Sterri

International Migration Review. 2021

Open access

Forskere på Fafo: Jon Horgen Friberg

Prosjekt: The Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study in Norway (CILS-NOR) This article explores religious adaptation among immigrant-origin youth in Norway, using the first wave of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study in Norway (CILS-NOR). To capture different dimensions of religious change, we distinguish between 1) level of religiosity, measured by religious salience and religious practices, and 2) social forms of religious belief, measured as the level of rule orientation and theological exclusivism. We compare immigrant-origin youth in Norway with young people in their parents’ origin countries, using the World Value Survey. We then compare immigrant-origin youth who were born in Norway to those who were born abroad and according to their parents’ length of residence in Norway. As expected, immigrant-origin youth from outside Western Europe—and those originating in Muslim countries in particular—were more religious than native and western-origin youth and more rule oriented and exclusivist in their religious beliefs. However, our results suggest that a process of both religious decline and religious individualization is underway among immigrant origin youth in Norway, although this process appears to unfold slower for Muslims than for non-Muslims. The level and social forms of religiosity among immigrant-origin youth are partially linked to their integration in other fields, particularly inter-ethnic friendships. We argue that comparative studies on how national contexts of reception shape religious adaptations, as well as studies aiming to disentangle the complex relationship between religious adaptation and integration in other fields, are needed.

Decline, revival, change? Religious adaptations among Muslim and non-Muslim immigrant origin youth in Norway