[EN] Video Transcript
In this unit, we will explore the link between a person’s level of religiosity and their openness to intercultural relations. When asked about their degree of religiosity, 5% and 34% of southern and eastern Mediterraneans categorized themselves as non-religious and very religious, respectively; while 30% and 23% of Europeans declared themselves not religious and very religious.
Let’s explore together our experts’ analyses.
Femke De Keulenaer highlights that “for both very religious respondents and non-religious respondents in the European countries, respect for other cultures was by far the most important value (selected by, respectively, 61% and 65% of respondents)”.
Shana Cohen’s analysis allows us to go beyond preconceived ideas on the impact of people’s religiosity to their attitudes towards people of other faiths and cultures, explaining the minimal differences that exist among religious and non-religious people, especially in Europe.
Cohen highlights that these Survey data are being studied during a time of political volatility and increasing public suspicion of diversity. She notes that responses show a strong association of improving interfaith relations with the role of the state.
Commenting on the Survey results in Europe, Cohen observes that the data indicate high levels of support amongst the religious and non-religious respondents for interventions aimed at integrating diversity within public life and institutions. The most widely-supported intervention by Europeans across these groups is in education, with 80% for not-religious; 82% for somewhat religious; and 81% for very religious.
Cohen cautions that interfaith dialogue conventionally led by religious leaders and institutions is often limited in its reach, to members of a particular religious institution, and further concludes with the idea that programmes oriented towards youth and the general public may yield more significant results for fostering tolerance and respect for diversity. “….[i]t is up to governments to become more thoughtful about the relations they want to foster between individuals and groups of different faiths and beliefs; how public institutions should cultivate tolerance and better relations; and the effect participation in public life should ideally have on individual and collective behaviour and values”.