RELIGIOUS FREEDOM INDEXES, CULTURAL DIMENSIONS AND WELFARE IN EUROPE
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In this paper we aim to verify the existence of a relationship between GDP per capita, expressed in PPP, different religious freedom indexes and some of Hofstede cultural dimensions. The considered religious freedom indexes are Government Regulation of Religion Index (GRI), Social Regulation of Religion Index (SRI) and Government Favouritism of Religion Index (GFI). The Hofstede cultural dimensions used in the present study are Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism versus collectivism Index (IDV) and Uncertainty avoidance Index (UAI).
We analyse a sample of 26 European countries, the sample being observed by countries’ adherence to world major religions and confessions. We draw the profile of the countries by the major religious denominations (orthodox, catholic, protestant countries) based on cultural dimensions according to Hofstede’s studies. Then, we verify the hypothesis that countries recording high scores of religious freedom indexes (religious monopoly or highly regulated religion by the state) experience low levels of general wealth. Also, using multivariate statistical analysis, we verify the hypothesis that countries with a specific religious profile, with powerful regulation of religion are included in a certain way in the profile given by cultural dimensions of Hofstede.
We aim to figure out if the mixed religious countries (less than 50% for orthodox, catholic, protestant religious confessions) from our sample (Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Estonia, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands) are less regulated by the state, while these societies experienced high individualist profile, low distance to power and low to medium preference for avoiding uncertainty.
Keywords: Religion, freedom, culture, welfare.