Study: Christians, Jews and Muslims encounter workplace discrimination differently


Study: Christians, Jews and Muslims encounter workplace discrimination differently

Christians, Jews and Muslims encounter workplace discrimination, but they experience it differently, according to a new report by Rice University’s Religion and Public Life Program.

While Muslims and Jews say they’ve felt targeted by anti-Islamic and antisemitic rhetoric, it’s most often in the context of being seen as part of a larger group, they said in the study. Whereas evangelical Christians say they more often feel singled out when taking an individual stand based on their moral views, the report found.

Rachel Schneider, one of the report’s authors, said they learned that people often experienced workplace discrimination in the form of microaggressions — such as stereotyping and othering — not just in the hiring, firing and promotion process.

The report, “How Religious Discrimination Is Perceived in the Workplace: Expanding the View,” draws its research from Rice University’s “Faith at Work: An Empirical Study,” which included a survey of more than 11,000 people. Additionally, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with nearly 200 of those who were surveyed, including 159 Christians, 13 Jews, 10 Muslims and 12 nonreligious people. The research was funded by the Lilly Endowment.

A large proportion of Muslim (63%) and Jewish (52%) participants reported religious discrimination compared with other religious groups.

Perceptions of religious discrimination varied within Christian subgroups, with evangelical Protestants the most likely to report experiencing religious discrimination (36%), whereas roughly 20% of Catholics and mainline Protestants each reported religious discrimination, according to the report. About a quarter of other Christian/other Protestants say the same (24%).

Among nonreligious participants, 27% perceived religious discrimination in the workplace.

Source: Religious News Service (RNS)

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