Minority Religions in Europe and the Middle East: Mapping and Monitoring, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Minority Religions in Europe and the Middle East

Mapping and Monitoring, 1st Edition

Edited by George D. Chryssides


254 pages

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Hardback: 9781472463609
pub: 2018-08-14
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315595559
pub: 2018-08-06
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Minority religions, not only New Religious Movements, are explored in this innovative book including the predicament of ancient religions such as Zoroastrianism, ‘old new’ religions such as Baha’i, and traditional religions that are minorities elsewhere. The book is divided into two parts: the gathering of data on religious minorities ("mapping"), and the ways in which governments and interest groups respond to them ("monitoring"). The international group examine which new religions exist in particular countries, what their uptake is, and how allegiance can be ascertained. They explore a range of issues faced by minority religions, encompassing official state recognition and registration, unequal treatment in comparison with a dominant religion, how changes in government can affect how they fare, the extent to which members are free to practise their faith, how they sometimes seek to influence politics, and how they can be affected by harassment and persecution.

Bringing together debates concerning the social and political issues facing new religions in Europe and the Middle East, this collection extends its focus to Middle Eastern minority faiths, enabling exposition of spiritual movements such as the Gülen Movement, Paganism in Israel, and the Zoroastrians in Tehran.

Table of Contents

1 Religious Minorities: Setting the Scenes

George D. Chryssides

Part 1: Mapping the minority religions

2 What do the censuses tell about minority religions? Some reflections on Estonia

Ringo Ringvee

3 Religious Minorities in Geneva: Reconsidering the Category

Brigitte Knobel and Camille Gonzales

4 Minority Religions in Contemporary Lithuania: On the Margins of the Field of Religion?

Milda Ališauskiene

5 Spiritual movements in times of crisis: An anthropological account of alternative spirituality in Portugal and Greece

Eugenia Roussou

6 Sacred Homeland, Glorious Ancestors and Old-time Language: Ethnic Elements in the Identity of the Zoroastrian Religious Minority in Modern Tehran

Paulina Niechcial

7 Jehovah's Witnesses and the Middle East

George D. Chryssides

Part 2: Monitoring, regulation and opposition

8 New Religious Movements in France: The Legal Situation

Alain Garay

9 Religious minorities in democratic Spain: rekindling the past and considering the future

Claude Proeschel

10 What do we talk about when we talk about legitimate religion? Failure and success in the registration of two Pagan communities in Finland

Titus Hjelm, Essi Mäkelä, and Jussi Sohlberg

11 Religious Liberty in the Russian Federation after 1997

J. Eugene Clay

12 The Church of Scientology in Hungary: A ‘Religious Multinationals’ Case Study

Holly Folk

13 Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: The Shaping of a Community-Building Discourse among Israeli Pagans, 1998-2012

Shai Feraro

14 The Gülen movement

Inez Schippers

15 Religion, social change and responding to persecution – the case of the Bahá’í community in Iran

Kishan Manocha and Saba Tahzib

16 The Bektashi-Alevi Spectrum from the Balkans to Iran: Sufi Minorities and Politics

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz


17 Key Data on Religions by Country

George D. Chryssides

About the Editor

George D. Chryssides studied at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, and has taught at various British universities. He was Head of Religious Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, from 2001 to 2008, and is now Honorary Research Fellow in Contemporary Religion at the University of Birmingham and York St John University. He has published extensively, principally on new religious movements, and is a Series Editor for the Routledge New Religions series. His books include Historical Dictionary of Jehovahs Witnesses (2008), Heavens Gate: Postmodernity and Popular Culture in a Suicide Group (2011), Christians in the Twenty-First Century (with Margaret Z. Wilkins 2011), Historical Dictionary of New Religious Movements (2012), The Bloomsbury Companion to New Religious Movements (co-edited with Benjamin E. Zeller,2014), and Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change (2016). He was made an Honorary Member of the British Association for the Study of Religions in 2009, and is a Governor and Co-Vice-Chair of Inform.

About the Series

Routledge Inform Series on Minority Religions and Spiritual Movements

Inform is an independent charity that collects and disseminates accurate, balanced and up-to-date information about minority religious and spiritual movements.

The Routledge Inform Series addresses themes related to new religions, many of which have been the topics of Inform seminars. The series editorial board consists of internationally renowned scholars in the field.

Books in the series will attract both an academic and interested general readership, particularly in the areas of Religious Studies, and the Sociology of Religion and Theology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Zoroastrianism
RELIGION / Religion, Politics & State
RELIGION / Scientology
RELIGION / Islam / Sufi
RELIGION / Christianity / Jehovah's Witnesses
RELIGION / Paganism & Neo-Paganism