An ethnoreligious group (or ethno-religious group) is an ethnic group
whose members are also unified by a common religious background.
Ethnoreligious communities define their ethnic identity neither by
ancestral heritage nor simply by religious affiliation but often
through a combination of both. An ethnoreligious group has a shared
history and a cultural tradition of its own. In many cases
ethnoreligious groups are ethno-cultural groups with a traditional
ethnic religion; in other cases ethnoreligious groups begin as
communities united by a common faith which through endogamy developed
cultural and ancestral ties. Some ethnoreligious groups'
identities are reinforced by the experience of living within a larger
community as a distinct minority. Ethnoreligious groups can be tied to
ethnic nationalism if the ethnoreligious group possesses a historical
base in a specific region. In many ethnoreligious groups emphasis
is placed upon religious endogamy, and the concurrent discouragement
of interfaith marriages or intercourse, as a means of preserving the
stability and historical longevity of the community and culture.
1 Legal concept
1.2 United Kingdom
3 See also
6 External links
In Australian law, the
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 of New South Wales
defines "race" to include "ethnic, ethno-religious or national
origin". The reference to "ethno-religious" was added by the
Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Act 1994 (NSW). John Hannaford, the
NSW Attorney-General at the time, explained, "The effect of the latter
amendment is to clarify that ethno-religious groups, such as Jews,
Muslims and Sikhs, have access to the racial vilification and
discrimination provisions of the Act.... extensions of the
Anti-Discrimination Act to ethno-religious groups will not extend to
discrimination on the ground of religion".
The definition of "race" in Anti-Discrimination Act 1998 (Tas)
likewise includes "ethnic, ethno-religious or national origin".
However, unlike the NSW Act, it also prohibits discrimination on the
grounds of "religious belief or affiliation" or "religious
Main article: Mandla v Dowell-Lee
In the United Kingdom the landmark legal case Mandla v Dowell-Lee
placed a legal definition on ethnic groups with religious ties, which,
in turn, has paved the way for the definition of an ethnoreligious
group. Both Jews and Sikhs were determined to
be considered ethnoreligious groups under the Anti-Discrimination
(Amendment) Act 1994 (see above).
The Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Act 1994 made reference to Mandla
v Dowell-Lee, which defined ethnic groups as:
a long shared history, of which the group is conscious as
distinguishing it from other groups, and the memory of which it keeps
a cultural tradition of its own, including family and social customs
and manners, often but not necessarily associated with religious
observance. In addition to those two essential characteristics the
following characteristics are, in my opinion, relevant:
either a common geographical origin, or descent from a small number of
a common language, not necessarily peculiar to the group;
a common literature peculiar to the group;
a common religion different from that of neighbouring groups or from
the general community surrounding it;
being a minority or being an oppressed or dominant group within a
larger community. For example, a conquered people (say, the
inhabitants of England shortly after the Norman conquest) and their
conquerors might both be ethnic groups
The significance of the case was that groups like Sikhs and
now be protected under the Race Relations Act 1976.
The term "ethnoreligious" has been applied by at least one reliable
source to each of the following groups
Zoroastrians, including Parsis
Sri Lankan Moors
Antiochian Greek Christians
Saint Thomas Christians
^ a b c d Yang and Ebaugh, p.369: "Andrew Greeley (1971) identified
three types of relationships in the United States: some religious
people who do not hold an ethnic identity; some people who have an
ethnic identity but are not religious; and cases in which religion and
ethnicity are intertwined. Phillip Hammond and Kee Warner (1993),
following Harold J. Abramson (1973), further explicated the
“intertwining relationships” into a typology. First is “ethnic
fusion,” where religion is the foundation of ethnicity, or,
ethnicity equals religion, such as in the case of the
Amish and Jews.
The second pattern is that of “ethnic religion,” where religion is
one of several foundations of ethnicity. The Greek or Russian Orthodox
and the Dutch Reformed are examples of this type. In this pattern,
ethnic identification can be claimed without claiming the religious
identification but the reverse is rare. The third form, “religious
ethnicity,” occurs where an ethnic group is linked to a religious
tradition that is shared by other ethnic groups. The Irish, Italian,
and Polish Catholics are such cases. In this pattern, religious
identification can be claimed without claiming ethnic identification.
Hammond and Warner also suggest that the relationship of religion and
ethnicity is strongest in “ethnic fusion” and least strong in
“religious ethnicity.” Recently, some scholars have argued that
even Jews’ religion and culture (ethnicity) can be distinguished
from each other and are separable (Chervyakov, Gitelman, and Shapiro
1997; Gans 1994)."
^ a b c d e Hammond and Warner, p.59: "1.
Religion is the major
foundation of ethnicity, examples include the Amish, Hutterites, Jews,
and Mormons. Ethnicity in this pattern, so to speak, equals religion,
and if the religious identity is denied, so is the ethnic identity.
[Footnote: In actuality, of course, there can be exceptions, as the
labels "jack Mormon," "banned Amish," or "cultural Jew" suggest.] Let
us call this pattern "ethnic fusion."
Religion may be one of several foundations of ethnicity, the others
commonly being language and territorial origin; examples are the Greek
or Russian Orthodox and the Dutch Reformed. Ethnicity in this pattern
extends beyond religion in the sense that ethnic identification can be
claimed without claiming the religious identification, but the reverse
is rare. Let us call this pattern "ethnic religion."
3. An ethnic group may be linked to a religious tradition, but other
ethnic groups will be linked to it, too. Examples include Irish,
Italian, and Polish Catholics; Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish
Religion in this pattern extends beyond ethnicity,
reversing the previous pattern, and religious identification can be
claimed without claiming the ethnic identification. Let us call this
pattern "religious ethnicity""
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 Section 4".
^ Cunneen, Chris; David Fraser; Stephen Tomsen (1997). Faces of hate:
hate crime in Australia. Hawkins Press. p. 223.
ISBN 1-876067-05-5. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
^ a b "Anti-Discrimination (Amendment) Bill: Second Reading".
Parliament of New South Wales. 2007-05-12. Retrieved 14 February
^ a b Gareth Griffith (February 2006). Sedition, Incitement and
Vilification: Issues in the Current Debate (PDF). NSW Parliamentary
Library Research Service. p. 52. ISBN 0-7313-1792-0.
Retrieved 14 February 2010.
^ "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 3". Tasmanian Consolidated
Acts. AustLII. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
^ "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 16". Tasmanian Consolidated
Acts. AustLII. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2010.
^ policypaperdraft. Policy.hu. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
^ a b "Are
Jews a Religious Group or an Ethnic Group?" (PDF).
Institute for Curriculum Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on
21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
^ a b Ethnic minorities in English law – Google Books.
Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
^ a b Edgar Litt (1961). "Jewish Ethno-Religious Involvement and
Political Liberalism". Social Forces. 39 (4): 328–332.
doi:10.2307/2573430. JSTOR 2573430.
^ Immigrant Sub-National Ethnicity: Bengali-Hindus and Punjabi-Sikhs
in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allacademic.com. Retrieved on
^ a b
^ Ethno-Religious Strife Closes Bridge of Hope Center – Gospel for
Asia. Gfa.org (2008-08-05). Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
^ a b Simon Harrison (2006). Fracturing Resemblances: Identity and
Mimetic Conflict in Melanesia and the West. Berghahn Books.
pp. 121–. ISBN 978-1-57181-680-1.
^ Ethno-Religious Communities Identity markers: "The Yazidism is a
unique phenomenon, one of the most illustrative examples of
ethno-religious identity, which is based on a religion exclusively
specific for the
Yazidis and called Sharfadin by them." - Victoria
Arakelova (Yerevan State University)
^ Paul R. Ehrlich; Anne H. Ehrlich (30 June 2008). The Dominant
Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment. Island Press.
p. 315. ISBN 978-1-59726-096-1.
^ Villalón, Leonardo A., Islamic Society and State Power in Senegal:
Disciples and Citizens in Fatick, p. 62, Cambridge University Press
(2006), ISBN 9780521032322 
^ Diedrich Westermann, Edwin William Smith, Cyril Daryll Forde,
International African Institute, International Institute of African
Languages and Cultures, Project Muse,
JSTOR (Organization), "Africa:
journal of the International African Institute, Volume 63", pp 86-96,
270-1, Edinburgh University Press for the International African
^ Minahan 2002, p. 914
^ Ireton 2003
^ Minahan 2002, p. 467
^ "Part I -
Mormons as an Ethno-Religious Group - University
Publishing Online". ebooks.cambridge.org. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
^ Janzen, Rod; Stanton, Max (2010-09-01). The Hutterites in North
America. JHU Press. ISBN 9780801899256.
^ a b c Thomas 2006
^ Thiessen, Janis Lee (2013-06-17). Manufacturing Mennonites: Work and
Religion in Post-War Manitoba. University of Toronto Press.
^ Minahan 2002, p. 2030
^ a b Desplat, Patrick; Østebø, Terje (2013-04-18). Muslim Ethiopia:
The Christian Legacy, Identity Politics, and Islamic Reformism.
Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137322081.
^ Minahan 2002, p. 209
^ Nothaft, C. Philipp E. (2014-05-23). Between Harmony and
Discrimination: Negotiating Religious Identities within
Majority-Minority Relationships in Bali and Lombok. BRILL.
^ a b c Marty, Martin E. (1997). Religion, Ethnicity, and
Self-Identity: Nations in Turmoil. University Press of New England.
ISBN 0-87451-815-6. [...] the three ethnoreligious groups that
have played the roles of the protagonists in the bloody tragedy that
has unfolded in the former Yugoslavia: the Christian Orthodox Serbs,
the Roman Catholic Croats, and the Muslim Slavs of Bosnia.
^ Zemon, Rubin. "The development of identities among the Muslim
population in the Balkans in an era of globalization and
Europeanization: Cases of Torbeshi, Gorani and Pomaci".
^ a b Punjani, Shahid (August 2002). "How Ethno-Religious Identity
Influences the Living Conditions of Hazara and Pashtun Refugees in
Peshawar, Pakistan" (PDF). MIT.
^ Minahan 2002, p. 744
^ Ponna Wignaraja; Akmal Hussain, eds. (1989). The Challenge in South
Asia: Development, Democracy and Regional Cooperation. United Nations
University Press. p. 278.
^ Timothy P. Barnar (2004). Contesting Malayness: Malay identity
across boundaries. Singapore: Singapore University press. p. 7.
^ Frith, T. (September 1, 2000). "Ethno-Religious Identity and Urban
Malays in Malaysia" (fee required). Asian Ethnicity. Routledge. 1 (2):
117–129. doi:10.1080/713611705. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
^ Mahesh Ranjan Debata (2007). China's Minorities: Ethnic-religious
Separatism in Xinjiang. Pentagon Press. p. 56.
^ Jack Barbalet, Adam Possamai, Bryan S. Turner, eds. (2013). Religion
and the State: A Comparative Sociology. Anthem Press.
p. 134. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link)
^ James Peoples, Garrick Bailey (2008). Cengage Advantage Books:
Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. Cengage Learning.
p. 391. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ Minahan 2002, p. 1194
Sean Ireton (2003). "The
Samaritans – A Jewish Sect in Israel:
Strategies for Survival of an Ethno-religious Minority in the Twenty
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ETHNICITY: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE", Popular Perceptions of the
Relationship Between Religious and Ethnic Identities: A Comparative
Study of Ethnodoxy in Contemporary Russia and Beyond, Western Michigan
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Levey, Geoffrey Brahm. "Toward a Theory of Disproportionate American
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Fox, Jonathan (2002). "Defining Religion's Role in Society".
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Minahan, James (2002). Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations.
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Religion and Ethnicity Among New
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