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 .
Examples of ethnoreligious groups include:
* Closed group: non-proselytizing religions with inherited
membership , such as the
Jews originating from the Israelites
Hebrews , of the
Ancient Near East (Jewish ethnicity ,
nationhood and religion are strongly interrelated, as
Judaism is the
traditional faith of the Jewish nation ), the
Druze , the Mandaeans
Zoroastrians , and the
* Religious groups whose members primarily share a single ethnicity,
such as the
Sikh , the
Saint Thomas Christians
Saint Thomas Christians , the
Shabaks , the
Alawites , the Kaka\'i , the Mennonites , the Hutterites and the Amish
* Ethnic groups whose members primarily share a single religion,
Assyrian people , the
Greeks , Serer ,
Sinhalese people and the
In a closed ethnoreligious group with inherited membership,
particular 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. This adherence to religious endogamy can also,
in some instances, be tied to ethnic nationalism if the ethnoreligious
group possesses a historical base in a specific region.
* 1 As a legal concept
* 1.1 Australia
* 1.2 United Kingdom
* 2 Examples
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 Bibliography
* 6 External links
AS A LEGAL CONCEPT
In Australian law , the
Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) 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 that "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
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 activity".
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
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,
* either a common geographical origin, or descent from a small
number of common ancestors;
* 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 this case was that groups like
Sikhs and Jews
could now be protected under the
Race Relations Act 1976 .
The term "ethnoreligious" has been applied by at least one author to
each of the following groups:
Zoroastrians , including Parsis
Sri Lankan Moors
* Irish Catholics
Antiochian Greek Christians
* Syriac Orthodox
* Kashmiri Hindus
* ^ 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)."
* ^ 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. 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
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"" * ^
* ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=ap8wa_YmT2QC&pg=PA85
* ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=1wvahJv83AgC&pg=PA101
* ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=1wvahJv83AgC&pg=PA101
* ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=dnxv-Mlz0JIC&pg=PA90
* ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=x4OwXhMOn5cC&pg=PA102
* ^ * "In the broader sense of the term, a Jew is any person
belonging to the worldwide group that constitutes, through descent or
conversion, a continuation of the ancient Jewish people, who were
themselves descendants of the
Hebrews of the Old Testament." Jew at
* ^ "Hebrew, any member of an ancient northern Semitic people that
were the ancestors of the Jews." Hebrew (People) at Encyclopedia
* ^ Brandeis, Louis (25 April 1915). "The Jewish Problem: How To
Solve It". University of Louisville School of Law. Retrieved 2 April
Jews are a distinctive nationality of which every Jew, whatever
his country, his station or shade of belief, is necessarily a member
* ^ Palmer, Edward Henry (14 October 2002) . A History of the
Jewish Nation: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day. Gorgias
Press. ISBN 978-1-931956-69-7 .
OCLC 51578088 . Retrieved 2 April
2012. Lay summary.
* ^ Einstein, Albert (21 June 1921). "How I Became a Zionist"
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Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press .
Retrieved 5 April 2012. The Jewish nation is a living fact
* ^ http://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/84714/1/zef_dp72.pdf
* ^ 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
Yerevan State University
Yerevan State University )
* ^ "
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* ^ "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 3". Tasmanian
Consolidated Acts. AustLII. 2 February 2010. Retrieved 14 February
* ^ "ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ACT 1998 – SECT 16". Tasmanian
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* ^ A B Simon Harrison (2006). Fracturing Resemblances: Identity
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* ^ Minahan 2002 , p. 914
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Mormons as an Ethno-Religious Group - University
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* ^ Janzen, Rod; Stanton, Max (2010-09-01). The Hutterites in North
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* ^ Thiessen, Janis Lee (2013-06-17). Manufacturing Mennonites:
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Media related to Ethnoreligious